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The Revelation of Belonging

Belong is a bit of a goofy word.

Say it a few times and tell me it doesn't feel like you're just playing with sounds while you're trying to think of a better word. Ok, maybe that's just me.

The desire to belong, on the other hand, is something we wrestle with throughout our lives. We try not to give in to it so that we don't become social chameleons. Many of us carry scars from groups we have been a part of. There are others who take it for granted, as they always seem to fit in wherever they go. Whatever the case, we were designed to belong in community. Each of us created out of love, for love, to be loved.

What we may not realize is that our ability to grow is intimately connected with our security as a valuable member of a loving community. This originates from our Creator as we are made in the image of God, our image.

It was this point which caught my attention last Sunday. In taking a close look at Romans 12:1-5 we received God's truth and it challenged t…
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Leaving the Building

What have I been called to do?

Each of us wrestle with this question as we follow Christ through every season of our lives. Sure, I know I am to love because Jesus first loved me, and I know He set the example of ministry as a servant. Yet there remains the questions of "How do I love when I'm surrounded by hate?" "Where can I go to meaningfully serve others?" "How do I know if I'm doing it right?"

First of all, God is neither a taskmaster nor a scorekeeper.

God knows the plans He has for me. As I go through my everyday life, I know I have been called for such a time as this. I have been sent to minister right where I am. This perspective shifts all my questions to thoughts of "How can I best love this person in front of me?" "Where do You want me to look?" "Am I listening to the Spirit right now?"

What have we been called to do?

To proclaim our community as a church means we believe we have been called out and called…

The Simple Invitation to Prayer

"What has helped me?"

Our commitment as a church is to advance the Gospel as a Kingdom family. As we drill down on advancing through small steps and simple invitations, Lumumba was preaching out of Revelation and asked the question, "What has helped me in sharing the word of my testimony?" I was particularly caught by his first point of prayer.

Jesus taught us to pray. Prayer is unique to humankind and a primary indicator of the faithfulness of God's people. God hears every prayer. It is transformational, impactful, good for the soul, empowered by the Spirit, and necessary for our intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe.

Yet we often treat it as a daily chore.

When prayer becomes an after thought for me I begin to forget who I am in Christ, that I have been called and sent by God, and what I have been sent to do. When my prayer life is weak it becomes a laundry list of what I hope God will do for me instead of remembering who He is and listening …

Chosen by God

Scripture is clear that God's people are chosen. They are chosen to reveal the one, true God throughout history and over all the world. This is an incredible blessing both for God's people and the world. God does not have to use people. God does not have to reveal Himself. Actually, His choice in this matter proves that He is both personal and relational.

As fantastic as that may be, the other day I came across a passage speaking about God's chosen people and I was caught by an issue of perspective. When I hear God say, "you are chosen" do I apply it to myself or to others? What I mean is, how does that truth affect my life? To be chosen by God is enough of a mind job to completely absorb every bit of of my focus for the rest of my days. However, it could easily be turned outward in a negative way. To give it a distorted application all we have to do is add a line saying something like, "I am chosen... and you are not." If I do that then I am completely…

Spiritual Inheritance

Have you ever thought about how much you will leave as an inheritance? I've thought a lot about saving money for my later years and I regularly hear from people who are concerned about how much or how little they will be able to pass on and sometimes those who feel the pressure of wisely handling the inheritance they know will be passed down to them. Today, as I read Exodus 20 I was struck by the inclusion of a spiritual inheritance within the famous passage of the Ten Commandments. Those who hate God pass on a curse while those who love and obey pass on a blessing.

How often do I really think about spiritual inheritance?

This is a weighty and complex thing to consider but I want to focus on the generosity aspect. Most of the time, I think about my faith as a personal relationship and the application of blessing is usually in reference to my current circumstances. Yet I also know that I cannot separate my personal call from the corporate call as one of His people. This means that …

Of God

Why is it so important to receive our righteousness from God? In Romans 10, God makes a big deal out of the difference between receiving His righteousness and establishing our own righteousness. Wouldn't it make sense for God to tell us to pursue a life of right standing and good relationship as an act of obedience on our part? The answer according to revelation is a resounding "No!" but why? If God is perfectly good then in order to have a right relationship with God there must be no blemish on my record, and even the pattern of my thoughts must be perfection. On my very best days I would be concerned if my relationship with God depended on that amount of excellence. The truth is, I know that the necessity of that level of goodness is the way it must be. Not only that, I want it to be the truth!

What I mean is, I want God to be the opposite of evil, and so far opposed to evil that He can't even be in the same room with it! Well, metaphorically speaking. Of course, i…

Living It Out

What does it mean to live out a resurrected life? Remembering is an essential element of following Christ. It is the motivation for taking the Lord's Supper, it is the activity that allows me to apply the words "It is finished," and it is the practice that provides a supernatural reality check whenever I have cause to doubt. The discipline of remembering is actually a unique opportunity. No other religion or philosophy can remember as we do. When doubts or difficulties arise the Christian simply has to remember who they are. Everyone else has to remember what they need to do. This is only possible in Jesus the Christ. This is the key to unlocking all of those passages in which Scripture speaks of life, abundant and free.

At any given moment I can remember what was accomplished through Jesus and I can experience revival. As a Christian, I can remember that He has given freely (at a terrible cost) so that I can receive and not have to earn. I am not a product of my circums…