Just as your physical eye cannot see all the spectrums of light, you cannot see, without faith, all the possibilities of God! So why settle just for what you can see? Why not live for so much more? The mystery is that there is more to life than what we can see. There are more...
In Matthew 13:33 Jesus told a parable: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."Jesus has told us what The Kingdom is like and you and I need to make sure that what we're experiencing with what we call...
Can I invite you to think? Sometimes we act like if we're going to believe, we have to turn off our brains. No, your brain is part of the image of God! Your curiosity, your imagination, everything inside of you, all of your faculties need to be brought fully to bear in seeking first the Kingdom...
I love the heart of God to make things new. The scripture says in Revelation 21:1, "And then i saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first had passed away…" You and I live in an earth that God imagined and created out of His joy, but in our sin we rebelled and we chose independence...
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.&rdquo...
In the kingdom of this world, we see by eye, but in the Kingdom of Heaven, we see by faith. That’s why the scripture says “We walk by faith, not by sight.” So often we live moments in which we are unconscious of God. In the kingdom of this world, we reason by the logic of this...
When we are cynical about people, the future, the church or anything else, we are advancing the agenda of hell and hindering the work of heaven. Negativity can be a word that you speak to somebody, that's just a critical, well-aimed word from hell, to demean and diminish others. We are...
Just as your physical eye cannot see all the spectrums of light, you cannot see, without faith, all the possibilities of God! So why settle just for what you can see? Why not live for so much more?
In Matthew 13:33 Jesus told a parable: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."
Jesus has told us what The Kingdom is like and you and I need to make sure that what we're experiencing with what we call 'God' is letting Jesus into every area of our life and letting Him transform. It is not religion, to where we pretend that Jesus can come into here and here but He can't come in here!
To be a follower of Jesus Christ means that He is Lord over all areas of our life! It's not about us trying hard and working at transformation - it's just about letting Him in!
The truth is, when we invite The King into our home, our home becomes His home! There's a title exchange. We trade kingdoms!
If you retain control of any area of your life, you're shutting Jesus out!
If there is an area of your life that is persistent darkness, persistent anger, persistent fear. If there is an area of your life that is persistently broken, where resentments are nurtured, where loneliness is forever consuming, where pain never becomes less -those are areas where you're not letting the Savior in and where you won't let the yeast fall. Because wherever Jesus enters into, He enters in and transforms all of it!
When we keep Christ out of parts of our life, we're really keeping Christ out of all of our lives! When we shut Him out, we shut growth out, we shut light out, we shut life out! You can't let Jesus in and keep Him out!
When Jesus comes in like yeast in the dough, there's an effect! It's not a magic wand and it's not instant, but when we open up our life to Jesus Christ, He comes into our life. We don't have to do anything other than let Him in and refuse to keep Him out! He begins to do the change, He begins to do the transformation by His power and His work in us. He will absolutely change and transform everything! That's the work of a living God --it's not us!
You see, if Jesus isn't in it all, is He in at all? We gotta ask the question!
Religion let's you compartmentalize life. The Kingdom of Heaven is not like religion that leaves you in control of this area of life and that area of life. The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast and when it is sprinkled into your life, it will work it into every area of your life and it will have its transforming effect!
The Kingdom of God coming inside of you and rising up and making you great in the eyes of God is not going to be what you think it will be - so let it be different! If you've had religion in your life, understand that what you need is Jesus. All the dough had to do was receive the yeast! -Dr. Drew Shofner
Can I invite you to think? Sometimes we act like if we're going to believe, we have to turn off our brains. No, your brain is part of the image of God! Your curiosity, your imagination, everything inside of you, all of your faculties need to be brought fully to bear in seeking first the Kingdom of God! And if you're not yet a believer, I want to challenge you to think and to question and to explore in a seeking journey!
In Matthew 13:31-32, Jesus tells a parable:
"The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed..." - It's small.
Now think about that in terms of your life on earth. Some of you are discouraged because God isn't bigger in the world and bigger in your life and there's pain and hurt and sorrow, but you have to understand somethings about big and small:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” -Matthew 13:31-32
What Jesus is doing is giving us an invitation to imagine mystery and to explore through curiosity what this unseen Kingdom is like. He says it looks like it starts small. It looks insignificant often in the moment, but if you will receive it and if you will plant it in your life, let it grow and give it time, you will find that it absolutely astonishes you!
It will be more than you ever would've imagined it would have been in the beginning --that's what the Kingdom of God is like!
I want you to understand that you and I as sinful, broken people-- and all of us are sinful--we have all substituted our will for the will of God. We think we know more than we really do and our confusion about big and small is really huge!
I want to share with you that in this broken world, broken people die confusing big and small. When we stand before God at the judgement, the essential mistake that will have been made by billions is that they missed the bigness of the love of God!
It seemed small and insignificant at the time, so many other things going on in life! So many priorities and pursuits going on that this 'God Story' just seemed like a nothing and yet this tiny little seed will prove to be the biggest thing in all of eternity. We are the people who experience the kingdom and must spread it to others! -Dr. Drew Shofner
I love the heart of God to make things new. The scripture says in Revelation 21:1, "And then i saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first had passed away…" You and I live in an earth that God imagined and created out of His joy, but in our sin we rebelled and we chose independence and our own will over the will of the Father and in that moment, everything was shattered. The foundation was cracked; deafness reigned, blindness entered our life, everything was torn apart in the human world!
But God said I will not give up, I will not let it go! I will pay any cost to redeem it, to buy it back and make things right again! And that's what God's here to do for your life. You have been loved with a love that is bigger than your life. You have been loved with a love that is bigger than God's life, and it's enough to change everything!
"Behold, I make all things new, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, to him who is thirsty," that is to the person who is willing to acknowledge their need, who is willing to acknowledge the need of being dependent, to the person who will give up the fig leaf of self sufficiency, to that person, I'll give the water of life!" I'll make everything right again, and everything that you're longing for in your heart of hearts, the end to the loneliness and alienation; the love that you just can't seem to find; I'm making everything new again! -Revelation 21:5
God's love has changed everything; I pray today that you and I aren't blind to it. I pray that you and I will see the power of a love that cost everything to change everything; in big and small ways! I pray most of all, that as we grow to be a church of 5,000 disciples, that we are not a church of 5,000 religious people "saved to sit" but that we are out in a broken world as broken people making friends for Jesus. Showing grace, living generosity, touching lives that nobody even notices, and bringing the healing of Heaven into a broken world one broken life at a time!
You have no idea what a difference you can make on this planet if you will only get over yourself and answer the call of God! -Dr. Drew Shofner
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” -Matthew 3:16-17
Believing I am loved, I agree to be led into nothing less than God's eternal purpose. - This is what we are saying with baptism; it is the statement of baptism! It's not a religous check box, it's not something that we trust for our salvation, it is a statement that we are making at the beginning of a beautiful and unending journey; that's what baptism is! So, if this water would speak, it would speak of love, which is the birth of all real relationship with God.
Religion somehow knows all the God stuff, but it never has a heart that is softened and touched by love. It never feels the joy of the Father's smile. It never knows the warmth of the Father's embrace or even the gentle whisper of the Father's breath in it's ear! But the person that dares to believe that they are personally and eternally loved by God is on the Jesus path!
You are not hopeless, you are not rejected, you are not ugly, or fated to fail. You are the beloved sons and daughters of God and you are invited to accept your place in the Father's family. But He loves you and will not force you; you cannot force love. It has to be wanted, it has to be given. Jesus knew He was loved, and until our identity is settled in looking into the face of Jesus, we are going to live our whole lives as exhausted posers performing for people like a seal in a circus. Our lives are going to be filled with pain because people can't fill you and no matter how much you tap dance and how many plates you spin, it will never ever be enough!
Faith connects life's pain to God's love. In baptism we are believing that we are beautifully loved and the truth is, like Jesus, we have to begin with an identity of love. If love is far from your heart, then that's your first step of faith! I don't care whether you feel it, you have to "faith" it; that you are loved, that you are known and that you are wanted! Believing I am loved, I agree to be led into nothing less than God's eternal purpose! -Dr. Drew Shofner