You cannot see, without faith, all the possibilities of God!

you cannot see without faith

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 spectrums to life than the visible eye can see. I still find that hard to believe, I know that it is true, but what it speaks to, is a reality behind what I can see and even what I feel! It really doesn't matter if I feel like ultraviolet light is real or not, it is! 

In the same way, God is here today, though you may not be able to see Him, He is speaking to you in parables to show you a kingdom you cannot see that must become more real to you than a world you can see. For some of you, to personalize this, in your own life all you can see is that you're stuck. The feeling may be that my life will never be more than this. Well, that may be what you can see but it is not what God sees!

In Matthew 16:25, Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?"
 
So Jesus is saying 'if you want to save your life, you lose it. Because only by losing your life, for me, will you ever find your created purpose! Will you ever find what you're longing for...will you ever be who you were made to be...will you ever love like you are longing to love and be loved! Only in me will you find that and to find me you have to give up this!' (Paraphrased)

The truth is, we'd have to be blind not to see the worth of heaven over the world around us! The broken world. A 9-11 world. A world of so much injustice. A world of holocaust. A world of racism. A world of people using one another. A world of theft and lying. A world of using every advantage of power and beauty against other people to lift ourselves up! 

Can we not see how radically cancerous our world apart from God is?
 
If you and I want to make our home in this world, we're free to do that. Jesus offers more, but against that more, there is a power working to keep you stuck in your world. To keep you broken down and to keep you less than. To keep you unhappy, to keep you rooted in your pain, to keep you in every way oppressed and in jail (spiritually speaking). 
 
2 Corinthians 4:4 says, "The God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God." There is a Kingdom that has come, but that Kingdom is opposed by a God of this age, Satan.

The kingdom of the world and the Kingdom of Heaven are two different economies and what has to be exchanged is the heart and the attachment. 

And so, God wants to give you a Kingdom worth more than the world but there is a worth decision that has to be made. Some of you think that you are worthless, and the truth is there could be no greater lie! God says you're worth more than His own life and so He sacrifices Himself upon the cross, is buried, and on the third day rises again because love will not die! 
 
You are of infinite worth to the Father! You don't have to live your life angry. You don't have to live your life lusting. You don't have to live your life using drugs or people. You don't have to live your life searching for recognition and respect at work because none of that will last forever! 

And so "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field...(Matthew 13:44)" Not everyone is going to see it, and some who do see it will say, "That's not worth much and certainty not worth me giving up everything that I want and everything I've been living for up to this point. No thanks God, that really isn't my treasure, my treasure is elsewhere." And many will see the offer of this Kingdom as something that is just not real. 
 
Some other people will hear this message of Jesus and part of them will say yes to it, but part of them will say "I want the world as well. I want the car but I don't want to give up anything of value to pay for it." And that doesn't work, but I just want to share with you this one simple thing above all else, and that is that the Kingdom only comes to those who let the world go! Why settle, in your life, for just what you can see when the God of parables is seeing so much more and trying to show you so much more? -Dr. Drew Shofner

You can't let Jesus in and keep Him out!

Letting Jesus in

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

One Tiny Seed.

one tiny seed

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

Behold, I Am Making All Things New!

revelation 21-5

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

Posted by Dr. Drew Shofner with

The Statement of Baptism

Believing I am loved

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

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