In or Out

Your Heavenly Father has all you’ll ever need right where you live.

Centuries ago in England, there existed a battle in the church between those who wanted to live out their faith on a daily basis right where they lived (pietists), those who just wanted to live with Jesus for certain hours on Sunday morning (secularists); and those who wanted to live out their faith away from those who didn’t (separatists).

This same battle exists today. Which one are you? Before you answer, keep in mind that Jesus never asked the Father to take His disciples out of an anti-Judeo-Christian worldview world/country/state/city. Instead, He asked the Father to keep them from the evil one while living right where He had them (Jn. 17:14-19).

Furthermore, Jesus came to put us into a relationship with the Father (Jn. 14:6) where the Father lived inside us right now! And, one day would take us home. BUT, it’s not about the location of the relationship, but the relationship itself.

Are you in with living with the Father each day, which allows the dark world around you to see His light in you and then want what He has given you, real life despite one’s circumstances?

Or, have you checked out by thinking that going to church is enough? (For those who have given up on the church, don’t fool yourself. You could still be in this camp. It just looks different.) Or, checked out by seeking to leave a dark state/city for greener pastures, like heaven?

All three thought they were right. Yet, only one was. Discover who the Father wants you to be.

Keep Getting Up

The biggest mistake we make as followers of Christ is staying on the ground!

Just like this little guy, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been knocked or fell down during my time playing sports.

Yet, unless I was hurt, where I was told to stay down, my coaches always told me to get up and keep competing. You can’t win unless you do.

Jesus knows we are going to fall down. Mind you, He does not want us to fall. He simply knows that we will until we see Him face to face (1 Jn. 3:2).

He does, though, expect us to get up. He even had Solomon write to remind us of this truth, “The righteous falls seven times and rises again.” (Proverbs 24:16) In Christ, we are righteous and are expected to keep getting up!

I love how one author put it, “Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost forever. You cannot alter it; but, you can arise and go to the next thing. Oh, let the past sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.”

Never let a fall determine your future. Let the next step you take with Jesus do. Keep getting up, my friend. Victory can only be had by doing so.

2% Daily Improvement

A long journey is a series of short steps.

My wife and I recently spent time in El Salvador, the home of my bonus son, Americo. While there, he took us on a hike up a volcano. This hike would gain 1,400 feet in elevation over 1.9 miles. Some hike, right?!

We were told, though, about this beautiful view when we arrived. We could either be intimidated to not take the hike by viewing it as a whole (1400’); or, we could be encouraged to go and simply take it one step at a time.

We choose the later. And oh, this beautiful view was more than worth the effort it took to get there!

Our walks with Jesus are much the same. We can’t always see the top or end of a particular hike; but, we can take it one step at time until get where He wants us to be.

Note: Life transformation is not for wimps! Our journey to become like Christ must be viewed as one small step by another small step relying on the Father’s grace and mercy along the way.

This is why the author of Hebrews tells us to encourage each other as long as it is called today (Heb. 3:13). Right now. This moment. Pray, text, call, do something to help a fellow Jesus traveler along their hike.

Life transformation is possible! Someone once told me that he strives to improve 2% each day. He could take small steps of obedience today to eventually arrive where Christ wanted him to be tomorrow.

The cliché, “the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step,” is true. 2% is doable my friends, especially when you have others walking with you one step at a time.

Perspective Filters Perception

“Not all storms come to disrupt your life; some come to clear your path.”

What time is it? Depending upon which direction you are looking at the puddle, it could either be almost 9:00 or 3:30. Your perspective, walking toward or away from the tower, filters your perceptions, which become the basis for your decision as to what time it is.

Yet, with the perspective that you were looking at the tower’s reflection, it wouldn’t matter. You would know it’s almost 9.

Perspective filters perceptions, which affects the decisions you make each day. Question: Where is your life perspective coming from?

We know the Judeo-Christian/biblical perspective is fading fast in the Western Church. The perspective that there is an objective truth is giving way to the subjective “my truth, your truth” or a new way of saying an old theme, “It’s all relative.”

Those who hold this “new” perspective will be ripe for the man of lawlessness. He will do “miracles, signs and wonders” (2 Thess. 2:3-12) that will deceive them because they will perceive what he does to be a miracle, when it is not. It’s 9 not 3:30.

I am concerned for Western Christians. The latest data shows that 97% of those who call themselves born-again believers do not live or make decisions using a biblical perspective or filter.

Instead, they choose to make decisions with the “new” perspective, which makes them vulnerable to being deceived by our arch enemy. Their decisions, then, based on false perceptions (3:30), can lead to a lot of personal pain.

Jesus said the truth, a biblical perspective, will set you free. From what? Heartache, stress related illnesses, financial troubles, ulcers, disappointment, etc., which can come from making decisions based on a perception that doesn’t line up with Jesus’.

Save yourself some pain. Put in the work to seek Jesus through the perspective of the Scriptures. As you do, you will get to know what His voice sounds like, so you can follow Him to the abundant, though not easy, life that He promised.

The more you do, the healthier, better and more peaceful life you’ll live.

More not Less

“When life speeds up, slow down.”

Busy or fulfilling? Ask Moses. Israel went into Egypt as a family of 70 and came out a nation under his leadership.

Talk about a time when Moses’ life sped up faster than a tornado! He went from leading a flock of sheep/goats in the desert to instantaneously leading a flock of millions out of Egypt into the desert.

Yet, when his life sped up, Moses repeatedly went up a mountain to spend precious time with the Lord, despite being in contact with Him between visits. It was absolutely necessary to slow life down when it wanted to speed up.

Think about it. Does God really need our help to carry out His plans? He is unencumbered by time. He is, was and will be all at once (Rev. 1:4). All three time descriptors show us that God isn’t caught up in time. Furthermore, God will accomplish His plans on His own timetable.

As we surrender our time to Him, we can play a role in that plan. BUT, life is not about being busy for God. It’s about being with Him in the midst of doing time.

We see this in Moses’ life. When life sped up, God slowed it down by calling Moses up for a meeting.

When our lives get busy, we need more time with the Father, not less. He will get done what He wants done when He wants it done. So, you can either be busy about your stuff or be fulfilled being with and watching Him do what only He can do.

Sometimes more time with Him means less doing for Him. Guess what? He loves it.