August 31, 2016

We read in Matthew 22:34-40, “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. {35} One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: {36} ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ {37} Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ {38} This is the first and greatest commandment. {39} And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ {40} All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”

According to “Strong’s Dictionary” the Greek word used in verses 36 and 40 for the word translated, “law” means, “generally regulation, specifically of Moses volume, or figuratively principle.” The expert in the law was likely including not only what we know as the Ten Commandments, but also all the other directives and their interpretations suggested through the centuries surrounding what was agreed to as the “law and the prophets.”

Jesus response was short and straight forward distilling everything down to two things, loving the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and loving your neighbour as yourself.

For those who understand the meaning of the statement, “What you think and what you believe and what you say and the intentions of your heart matter, because it impacts you actions which determine the outcomes in your life,” then the statement of Jesus truly becomes all encompassing. We are responsible to put love for God first. Notice the word, “all” used three times. The Greek word translated, “all” means complete, altogether, throughout, whole.” We know the level of our commitment to love based upon what it takes to displace it. What are you willing to give up to make sure your love for God holds true?

Also, how committed are you to making sure you are the best you possible, so that you have the resources to properly love yourself, so you can then love others in a way which pleases God.

Success principles and training are important and valuable, but if you place them ahead of God you have lost the benefit of the power and authority provided to those who put God first and love Him wholeheartedly.

Our commitment to God and His Kingdom becomes visible for everyone to see in our actions, revealing our thoughts, beliefs, words and heart intentions.

What do others see in you? Are you congruent with what Jesus said in response to the question of the expert in the law? Your response is really important as it will point to your life’s reality.

August 30, 2016

There are some interesting things to note about King Hezekiah and the success he enjoyed in the early years of his reign. We are told in 2 Chronicles chapter 29 he took massive and immediate action to turn his kingdom around in the first month he was king. He had a dream and goal to see the people in his kingdom live in right relationship to God, the Creator and Source of all things. He began with repairs to the temple, the location where the people had gathered in the past to worship God and fellowship together.

Hezekiah had an organized plan with specific steps towards its achievement. The next step was to bring those individuals from the clan of Levi, the priests, together and have them refocus on who God had called them to be and what He had chosen them to do. His next step was to bring the city officials together who were the leaders within the community to get them on board with his plan. When these local leaders caught the vision there would be greater influence upon larger numbers of people within the nation. In the process of influencing the city leaders he used strategies and techniques which elevated excitement and enthusiasm for his intention and plan.

Anticipation and excitement within the community increased. Then came the process which elevated this dream to a heightened level of expectation. Invitations were sent out inviting everyone to a great celebration. Such a celebration had not been held in the nation for a very long time. It was a seven day celebration called the Passover. The focus of the celebration was all about re-establishing the connection and relationship of the people with God and with each other. This was a brand new experience for some of the people and they did not know the procedures and how they should properly respond to what was taking place. In that moment, King Hezekiah interceded and prayed for understanding, love and grace to be extended to these individuals, not only by God but by everyone else. What was important in that moment was, people were seeking to come into closer relationship with God. He understood this was far more important than getting some external procedures exactly correct.

After seven days the people were so excited about what they were experiencing, Hezekiah extended the celebration for another seven days. During this time he took leadership in encouraging the Levites, who were the ones in charge of the daily proceedings. He also stepped in to provide personal resources to make sure the physical needs of the people were being met.

The end result was massive support for Hezekiah’s dream for spiritual renewal among the people of the nation. Hezekiah followed God’s universal recipe for success and it impacted a nation. Who will you positively influence with your choice to follow the recipe? Remember there is always greater power behind your intention when it is in alignment with the will and purposes of God.

August 29, 2016

I came across some thought provoking material by Ted Dekker in his training material titled, “The Forgotten Way.” The following is a short piece he wrote. I would challenge you to read it slowly several times thinking about the concepts he is sharing. This may be for some people an opportunity to enter into a whole new area of relationship with God. For others a chance to remember and renew some very powerful aspects of who we truly are and can be “in Christ” because Christ is in us.

Ted Dekker writes, “‘Who am I in Christ?’ The greater question, however, might be, “Who is Christ, in me?” Because until you get a revelation of who He is, everything you think about who you are is merely a guess. When you get a revelation that the One from whom all faith originates believes in you, then that belief holds you. It is in that place that you are at rest and secure. Pure doctrine and authentic belief is simply saying yes to what God believes about you. God believes some amazing things about you, and what God believes about you is what reveals who you truly are. Being ‘in Him’ is the Divine reality that empowers the awakening of your true identity.

Here’s why this matters. What you believe becomes the reality that you experience. We are created in the likeness of our creator to manifest that which we believe to be true. This is the power of faith. What we believe, we behold, and what we behold becomes our experience. If you believe you are separated from your Father as a Christian, you will interpret the Bible through that lens of a broken or fragile relationship.

However, if you accept that you are in Him and that there is no distance, no separation, between you and your Father right now, and that you can’t stop the endless flood of His mercy for you, then the Bible stops being a confusing book of conflicting commandments and becomes a beautiful revelation of Love Himself. Being in Him doesn’t make you God, just as being in you doesn’t make Him you. However, you are one, together. This is a great mystery, but as with many of God’s wonders, your heart can know and delight in what your mind may not yet fully understand.

All of Scripture, all relationship, all of life, all identity, all of time, every mystery is illuminated in the light of this basic revelation. You are one with God in Christ by the power of the Spirit. Your Father, God (who is Love, Peace, Joy, Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is one within you right now by His desire and design.”

Matthew records for us the words of Jesus in His Gospel in 16:19, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Jesus gave to His disciples His power and authority, in other words empowerment, to influence and impact both what transpires in the physical realm of this earth and in the spiritual realm. If you are a child of God, you have this empowerment and authority and in fact you are accountable to use it.

Notice the words of Jesus as recorded in John 14:12-14, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. {13} And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. {14} You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” What stops this from becoming a reality in our life? Doubt, or focus on the lack, rather than on the authority and power of Christ in us.

Do we truly believe what the Apostle Paul declares in Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, {21} to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Peter walked on water, but what happened to put an end to his water walking adventure? He placed his focus on the wind and the waves and stopped believing what he was already doing was really possible. When this happened he began to sink. Understanding the power of faith and applying that understanding in our lives is important. Seeking to eliminate limiting beliefs in our subconscious mind which hold us back is an important process to enhancing our faith.

To live life to its full potential we must seek to discover who we truly are in Christ and all we can do about it through the power of “Christ in us.”

August 28, 2016

The Biblical concept of what the Church ought to be fits the description of what a “Master Mind” ought to be. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Napoleon Hill wrote about the mastermind group principle as, “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

He continues… “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind].”

The “Success Alliance” says, “Mastermind groups offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills. A mastermind group helps you and your mastermind group members achieve success.

Participants challenge each other to set powerful goals, and more importantly, to accomplish them. The group requires commitment, confidentiality, willingness to both give and receive advice and ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion. Mastermind group members act as catalysts for growth and supportive colleagues.”

These are all concepts which will be active when the Church is being the Church as it was God ordained and commissioned . When it is functions as designed by God, it has the ability to significantly impact the world in positive ways.

If it becomes self-serving it moves from positive influence to negative influence in the world and no longer represents it true mission or the God who created it. It is the responsibility of those within the Church who know the value and importance of the Master Mind to help those who don’t know, so the Church can once again be and do what it was created by God to accomplish. All this through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit within [the third Mind].

August 27, 2016

If you want to know what a person is like at their heart level listen to the words which they speak.

They provide a look not only at the present, but also towards what will be in the future. Luke records these words of Jesus in Luke 6:43-45, “‘No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. {44} Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. {45} The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.’”

I came across some thoughts from an unknown source. This applies to the guys as well as the gals. If you do not like what you see right now, change it! You do reap what you sow. The following is food for thought:

You are going to meet an old lady someday. Down the road ahead, 10, 20, 30 years; she’s waiting for you. You will be catching up with her. What kind of old lady are you going to meet? That is a rather significant question.

She may be a seasoned, soft, and gracious lady. A lady who has grown old gracefully, surrounded by a host of friends – friends who call her blessed because of what her life has meant to them.

She may be a bitter, disillusioned, dried-up, cynical old buzzard, without a good word for anyone or anything – soured, friendless, alone.

The kind of old lady you will meet will depend entirely upon you. She will be exactly what you make of her… nothing more, nothing less. It is up to you. You will have no one else to credit or blame.

Every day, in every way, you are becoming more and more like that old lady. Amazing, but true. You are getting to look more like her, think more like her, and talk more like her. YOU ARE BECOMING HER.

If you live only in terms of what you are getting out of life, the old lady gets smaller, drier, harder, crabbier, more self-centred.

Open your life to others, think in terms of what you can give, your contribution to life, and the old lady grows larger, softer, kinder, greater.

The point to remember is that these things don’t always show up immediately. But they will – sooner than you think. These little things, seemingly so unimportant now – ATTITUDES, GOALS, AMBITIONS, DESIRES – are adding up inside, where you cannot see them, crystallizing in your heart and mind. Some day they will harden into that old lady; nothing will be able to soften or change them then. The time to take care of that old lady is right now, today. Examine your motives, attitudes, goals. Check up on her. Work her over now while she is still pliable, still in a formative condition. The day will swiftly come when it is too late. The hardness sets in, worse than paralysis. Character crystallizes, sets, gels. That’s the finish.

Any wise business person takes an inventory regularly. Merchandise is not half as important as the person. You had better take a bit of a personal inventory, too. Then you will be much more likely to meet a lovely, gracious old lady at the proper time.

What kind of person do you want to meet? Remember your words reveal your heart. If you want to live to your full potential then start today to make the rest of your life be the beneficiary of wise choices.