Posts Tagged ‘Lordship’

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Journey to the East: Route Map

Journey to the East: Route Map (Photo credit: premasagar)

I recently read a challenging verse in Genesis 46:2 in the Word on the Street. God stopped me cold on this one. During the night God downloaded a dream into Israel’s sleep and said : I’m God, your father’s God. Don’t panic; enjoy the journey down to Egypt.”

If it’s not today, it probably will be tomorrow but everyone usually comes to a place where you wonder if you got on the right bus. I mean, so much looks different while being the same. The people speak your language (most of the time), they drive cars like you do, trees are trees everywhere but for whatever reason you’re left wondering. I was thinking about this since our move to Boise. We did come with a blank page but there are only a couple of sentences and a photo now on the page while most of it remains blank.

Then God said “I’m God…don’t panic…enjoy the journey…” This was totally reassuring and I said ok. That day seemed different. I could relax and truly believe God was in control and therefore knew what he was doing. Boise is not Egypt but it is out there. It is the most remote destination city in the USA. While walking downtown that day I had an overwhelming sense of this being the place I want to be and that I can enjoy what God sees that I don’t yet. I actually thought that I enjoyed being here more than Boulder, Colorado and that is beyond bizarre. The beautiful walk on my way to the Java coffee shop could not have been improved in any way. I was meeting with a man to discuss what God was doing here. It was one of those electric moments where you just really knew…

Is there growing evidence in your life that shows you are walking away from the evidence the enemy presents as he details his distorted facts about God and his relentless love for you and I? We can enjoy the journey because God’s map is so much more exciting than any Google Map application.

Party Time?

Party Time? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quick Word   We moved from Loveland, Colorado to Boise, Idaho and I have been out of it for the last 8 days. We survived the Wyoming wind and are back on track.

I remember singing a song when I was about 6 or 10 years old with a phrase in it something like “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.” What did that mean? I never asked the question and certainly wouldn’t have had a clue what it meant. But, I could sing it anyway right, because everyone else did.

It is so easy to talk or sing or shout about following Jesus without any clue as to what is involved. But what if just as you are thinking that this is really cool, Jesus shows up and says “strap on the parachute, you’re gonna love the view.” You are willing to take the plane ride but no way are you going to check out how gravity feels at 5000 feet.

Jesus isn’t going to play the card game “hand and foot” with you today. He is going to train you to fight against an enemy and it is going to cost you the secret sin in your thought life you thought no one knows. It will also mean dealing with the control issue you have with your spouse. It gets really hard when Jesus suggests you go with him next Sunday morning to a dynamite fishing spot that will take all day. How could you miss “church” to be with Jesus in the wild?

Why not let Jesus define what following him means rather than accepting definitions that come from who knows where? Maybe it should be like what a couple of gals in New York did-they said “let’s read the gospels and do everything Jesus said.” Simple…but at a price most are unwilling to pay. Take some extended time to think on John 6:47-59.

EXPLORE   A deeper look at 2 Corinthians 5:17 shows that when we choose to follow Jesus we are not some genetically modified person but rather we are completely new. The ways we thought about life no longer work when Jesus is our life. Colossians 3:1-3 gets to the point even more by driving a larger nail into our former bucket list lifestyle by telling us to focus on what really matters and not to get caught up in the pursuit of the beautiful cultural lifestyle that ends up in the junkyard. It is true that God has put into each our our lives diverse passions that when pursued honor him. But that is the point-they should bring honor to him.

CONSIDER   What does it really look like to say that Jesus is your life? Do you curl up on a couch with a Bible and read it 24/7? Is there room for passion of any kind other than prayer? What about the coffee shop you want to add to your “coffeelogy” list? How do you determine what to spend your money on? What are the larger temptations that tend to win as you deal with this? What is the root motivation that keeps you giving into these temptations and not experiencing what matters most to God?

LIVE   Take some time to see if Jesus or anything else is your “bucket list.” Get together with a friend or two who seriously want Jesus to be the priority of their life and discuss how this should be lived out in our culture. When Jesus is your life it affects how you use your time, finances and energy. What is on God’s heart is not “tacked on” but is rather “built into” your lifestyle.

Cover of "The Bucket List"

Cover of The Bucket List

Not everyone likes Starbucks coffee. Those who object say it is too bitter but those who disagree say it is bold and strong. But for sure it is not watered down and at every Starbucks coffee shop, it is almost guaranteed to be the same.

Our experience of Christianity can be as God intended or it can be compromised in some way that causes us to nap throughout our life and deceive us into thinking we are ok. And when our friends agree with the compromised version, our nap is extended indefinitely. Thoughts like Jesus being in the driver’s seat every day (deny yourself), or to not allow any relationship to have priority over Jesus, or to give up every right I have or give up ownership of everything can be quickly dismissed as good stuff Jesus said, but it must be translated into our culture today and for sure it will not carry those harsh implications. Before you water this down, check out Luke 9:23 and 14:25-34.

Jesus meant exactly what he said and even though compromise begins in small ways, it always ends up robbing us of the freedom and life we never dreamed possible by following Jesus. Look at John 10:10.

Think through how you may have begun to compromise what Jesus said and take back the life stolen from you by the enemy. “…don’t get blown off the road. Go for it 100%-you’re working for the Boss and you know it’s worth breaking sweat for. It’s not a waste of time. Hang in there.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 The Word on the Street

Green logo used from 1987-2010, still being us...

Green logo used from 1987-2010, still being used as a secondary logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Las Vegas is a destination where people with high expectations of winning enough at the tables allows them to pay for the trip, the room and buy whatever while there. Losing is no option anyone wants to think about.

Jesus shows up and creates excitement everywhere, he feeds and heals people, tells riveting stories and challenges the religious types regularly. Who wouldn’t want to follow him? But as he gets closer to the finish line, he begins to define exactly what’s involved in trekking with him. There’s John 6 in which after he defines discipleship his way, most take off rather quickly. Some hang on till near the end when he talks about some cannibalistic stuff of exchanging your life for his and they bolt. Only a handful are left and he asks them a tough question-“You guys leaving too?”

Peter is right on it with “where would we go, we know you are the real deal.” At another time Peter made an impacting statement in Matthew 19:27 “We have left everything to follow you…” Peter, speaking for the rest of the gang had come to a place where they had nothing left to lose. This is when you know you are a revolutionary. 

But this is where we scratch our heads and wonder how this is possible today. Surrounded by many who claim to be Christians while holding on to houses, furnishings, right neighborhoods, quiet surroundings, multitudes of tech stuff (that you just can;t live without), or maybe a way of thinking that is contrary to Jesus’s expectations for discipleship, we could easily conclude that Jesus must not have been thinking about this generation. Matthew 16:25 must be quickly rationalized and explained for today’s culture because only revolutionaries  would live like this.

This is exactly what Jesus has in mind for those who would follow him today. Nothing has changed with Jesus but rather with us. Let him define what this looks like for you…if following Jesus is at the top of your priority list.