Making Room for Maximum Life

Making Room for Maximum Life

Too many of us are asking the wrong question. We want to know the bare minimum requirements for the life God offers. The problem for us is that the Christ life is so expansive and all consuming, it just can’t be housed in a small corner of our being. 

It was never meant for small spaces. He offers us a large life of expanded relationships, huge opportunities, grand thinking and boundless love. Some of us are so impeded by the ties that we have to things, people and responsibilities, that we can’t imagine a freedom that would allow us to follow Christ without reserve. But this is exactly what He offers. 

The rich young man who came to Jesus had a very efficient plan to add eternity to his collection of things. Jesus’ response to him was to disconnect himself from everything and everyone who held him in mediocrity and to reach forward for the kind of existence that dwarfs the smallness of materialism. He chose small. 

The questions we ought to be asking are, “What is the maximum space in my life that I can give to God. Where can I find the time, energy, solitude and relational capital to spend on others? How can I seek the kingdom first? How can I let go of the grudges and debts owed to me that clutter my heart and mind? How can I make room for a blessing so large that it requires all of me?” If you listen to the words of Jesus, you’ll find the answers. 

The Best And Highest Creation

The Best And Highest Creation

C S Lewis said, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit, immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

You are God’s best and highest creation. You may be thinking, “What about Jesus?” He is not created. He is the creator. (John 1) You are made in His image. John says that we don’t yet see what we will be, but we know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him. Wow! That is amazing. Do you realize you are in the process of being transformed, in such a way, that when Christ appears, you will be like Him?

We have to also consider that everything we say, do and even think, is important because we are constantly influencing everyone around us, with our words and actions. These are not mere mortals as C S lewis puts it, but immortals that are being made into beings that if we could now see them now, would either be so beautiful we would be tempted to worship them, or would be so horrible, they would resemble something out of a nightmare. 

The stakes are the highest in the universe. What God is doing in you, dwarfs anything you could imagine. So today, as you interact with those close to you and the people you meet throughout your day, remember that you are influencing them in one direction or another. Think like Christ. Speak the words of God, filled with faith, hope and love. His words are spirit and life. They cut through to the heart and have tremendous influence. Speak to yourself and all those around you and watch as your life gets better!

The Greatest Thing In The World

The Greatest Thing In The World

Have you ever wondered what your life should be focused on? If you’re like me, your life gets busy and complicated and at times you wonder how to simplify your focus. The love chapter in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, says the greatest thing is love. But, the meaning really goes deeper than any modern translation expresses. The old King James Version used the word Charity. The word is actually Agape from the greek and it goes deep. 

It’s the kind of love that God loves us with. It’s also the kind of love that God is, when John says, “God is Love”. Even more amazing, it’s the love that is born in us when we are born again of the Spirit. So, God loves us with this kind of love and we have the ability to love others with this same kind of love. Phileo, is a warm type of love that comes from getting to know someone and is usually in response to some lovable quality. Not so with Agape. Phileo may come and go with changes in a person’s situation, but not Agape. 

Agape is relentless, unchangeable, committed, passionate in its pursuit of its object. It’s solid and stable. It cannot be altered. It is unconditional and is the substance of God Himself. It’s what we all long for. It’s the main thing in life. And the best news is that it’s exactly what God offers us each day. Receive it and you will be able to freely give it. I pray that God will bless you with the understanding of how He loves you today and give you the means to share that same kind of love freely. 

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

Who are you? This is a question that our culture is fixated on. Many young people are obsessed with trying to figure out who they are, and many others are giving them options that don’t actually exist. Is it any wonder that in a society that seems to value sex above all else, the most popular questions that people are asking would be centered around sex? The reason these questions are getting so much play is they are in the category of identity. We all are extremely interested in ourselves, who we are and what our purpose is. 

Jesus, along with all the writers of the New Testament, gave us the most important answer and believe it or not, it has nothing to do with sex. This may be a revelation for some, but there are more important things. The enemy always majors on minor things. He constantly lifts up things that matter least and acts as if they matter most. This is his strategy and Christians fall for it just as much as non-Christians. 

We can’t associate with people who have problems that are more apparent than ours. We think we have it so together because our sins are hidden but God is not looking on the outside, He’s looking at the inside. He knows the truth, that we need Him just as much as “sinners”. “Love the sinner hate the sin”, only works if you’re God and I’ve never heard God use that phrase. Pity that we don’t hate our own sin as much as we hate the sins of others. If we did, we might allow God to get in deep and transform us into His image. Perhaps we would invite the Holy Spirit to put an end to the sins we are so accustomed to overlooking. 

What is God majoring on in our lives? Love, purity, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, understanding and many more characteristics that are way more important than sex. Maybe if the church majored on the traits that God has gifted us with and cultivates in those who surrender to Him, the world might realize that there really are more important things than sex. Maybe they would see that real human identity is found in becoming like Christ. We are created in His image. We are His sons and daughters. We have His character, His spiritual DNA and enough love to influence the whole world. 

That’s who you are supposed to be. If it’s not who you are, it can be. If you’re ready, He will begin His work in you immediately. Just ask Him. 

Define Yourself

Define Yourself

Many of us would like to become better people in 2024. The great news for Christians is that we absolutely can. You might like the idea, but believe that you are limited by your character flaws. We all have weaknesses, but Christians have an amazing hidden superpower called the nature of Christ. It is activated by a catalyst called faith. Our biggest obstacle, is that most of us don’t believe we can become the people, that we want so much to be. No catalyst, no power to change. 

Within the nature of Christ, there is every good thing you could imagine yourself becoming. It’s His nature! How could it possibly be lacking? It’s time that we start believing in “the riches of this mystery” of God that Paul talks about in Colossians 1:27 “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”. God is not lacking, He is not holding back, He is not limiting you. He is calling you fully, into this new life, without reserve, without restraint, to realize the hope you have of being transformed into the best possible you. 

How? Define yourself. Instead of letting life or your most recent outcomes define you, choose to define yourself. My wife, Lynnae and I have spent the past few days defining ourselves. I would say “redefining”, but most of us never define ourselves in the first place. We need to be intentional about something this important. And, it’s fun and energizing. 

The most enjoyable part of the process is that we are not looking at ourselves as a guide for our definitions. We are looking at Christ. If we were using our present selves to define our future selves, we’d never change. But, if we use the nature of Jesus which lives in us and is at our disposal every moment, then we can truly and honestly define ourselves in a way that will change us and make us better. 

For instance, I defined myself as patient. Sometimes I can be patient, but no one close to me would say that it’s my greatest strength. When I put patience down as one of my attributes, Lynnae liked it. She likes it because she wants to see it put into action in my life. She knows that If I believe this about myself, my faith will bring it about. We are challenging each other to deliberately define ourselves in 2024. I want to challenge you to do the same. 

It doesn’t matter what others say about you. It doesn’t matter what your past says about you. It matters what God says and it matters what you believe about yourself. So get paper and pen or computer or phone and start intentionally defining yourself by the character of Jesus Christ. Believe in the “riches of this mystery” and you will see the change in 2024. Let us pierce the limited, faithless monotony of religion with the extraordinary unstoppable, limitless energy of our faith, that is sure to catapult us into the life we so desperately desire. 

Don’t let any person, any situation, any failure, any fear, any weakness or any feeling define you. You are a new creation! Define that creation and live by it.

A Meaningful Christmas Eve

A Meaningful Christmas Eve

Would you enjoy a quiet and peaceful Christmas Eve service with acoustic carols and candle light? After a year of so much turmoil in the world, I think this is exactly what we need. I want us to have a time to refocus our lives on the deepest meaning of Christmas. “The meaning of Christmas” may sound cliche’, but there is real meaning for us in celebrating the birth of Jesus. In that moment, God changed forever, the way He speaks to people. He changed the way He would relate to us. He revealed His true nature in a way that had never been seen before. And most importantly, He created a new type of human.

We see it in Christ but we also see it in ourselves. C.S. Lewis called it the “Next Evolution Of Man” – A person inhabited by the very Spirit Of God. The Almighty would never again dwell in temples built by people but in the people that belong to Him. If you need a fresh infusion of God in your life – if you need a vision of good news and great joy – if you need to make God the priority over this next year, show up for Him. He showed up for us all, not to condemn us but to save us. And He deserves our praise!