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A Storm is ComingI have been reading Jeremiah and I can’t help but think it contains a warning for the American church. Check out chapter 11. We have broken our covenant with the LORD. Given His reaction to Israel and Judah over their disobedience, it is frightening (word chosen carefully) to think about the consequences for us. The New Covenant is so much more than the Old; and to those who have been given much, much is expected.

Jeremiah has been a difficult book to read. The Holy Spirit has not allowed me to read it as an historical account. He has not allowed me to project it on a “them”. He has continually reminded me that it was written not only as a warning to those that would come after, but to me as an individual child of God.

I have been challenged with two initial questions; and I am posing them to you:

  1. What is the New Covenant?
  2. What does obedience to it look like?

Before you give the quick answer, please consider the following passages (you might also want to read the first twelve chapters of Jeremiah):

And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

… if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:21-23

It feels like I am stating the obvious, but here goes: The deception that has come over the church in America is much greater than we perceive. We, each one of us, need eyes to see, and ears to hear. We need the truth that will make us free. We need courage to confess and reject our idols. We need to renew our vows. We need the prophets. Pray that it is not too late.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Stormy WeatherThe following are my (rather raw) notes from a meeting that was organized to hear from God on the question, “How do we spiritually prepare for the coming storm?” I strongly encourage you to read them prayerfully; with spiritual determination and discipline to hear what God would say to you (not every word is for every person). Remember, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; but faith without works is dead. You are responsible for your response to what you hear the Lord say in this exercise. Please let me know what you are hearing; it may be something that we all need to hear. Read the rest of this entry »

the light of GodIf I understand it correctly, one of the greatest blessings of the Protestant Reformation was the recognition that all followers of Jesus Christ could approach God for repentance and forgiveness, and for revelation and understanding of His word. It was not necessary for the common man to approach God through a “qualified” human intermediary. Tragically, we have taken a step back in time, particularly as it relates to understanding and appropriating the truths of God.

It is not enough to listen to someone else read and expound on the Scriptures. It is not enough to read them for yourself. We are called to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God (1Corinthians 4:1-2). Stewards search out and do something with the Master’s resources. To do anything else is wicked and lazy; not my words, but the words of the Master (Matthew 25:14-30).

We have been given eyes to see and ears to hear – spiritual eyes and ears – to know the mysteries of God (Matthew 13:11). It is the glory of God to hide a matter, but the glory of kings to search out a matter (Proverbs 25:2). How can we deny so great a salvation? How far have we strayed – to our peril (2Thessalonians 2:9)?

Many brave men were martyred for their efforts to make the word of God accessible to everyone. These are our brothers. What must they be thinking? Better yet, what is our Master thinking? And what will He do to His wicked and lazy servants?

The age is coming to a close; and the times have grown perilous. Please let me know if you need help becoming a faithful steward of the mysteries of God. Your future depends on it.

 

Humbly yours and forever His,

P.S. To those of you in leadership, I fervently urge you to refuse to allow those in your spheres of influence to be wicked and lazy. It is a hard thing to say, and hear, but you will be required to give an account.

Man in AnguishI have been meaning to write an article on the Western church’s silence towards the massacre of our brothers and sisters around the world.  Then I came across this article and realized that I don’t need to recreate what has been so powerfully articulated.

I will add that we are to remember them as if chained with them (Hebrews 13:3).  How does this happen?  You might start with a subscription to Voice of the Martyrs; or a regular visit to their prayer website.

There is much our persecuted brothers and sisters have to teach us; and much we need to learn in preparation for the days ahead.  First, we must have our hearts softened to receive God’s word on suffering.  Please don’t  shrink back from this because it is hard or challenging.  Learn how to remember them; learn how to suffer.

Humbly yours and His forever,

Adult Youth GalaxyAll Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2Timothy 2:16-17). All Scripture – not one verse or word is wasted. This is the awesome blessing of the Holy Bible.

Furthermore, there are some passages that are so rich in meaning; they overwhelm us with an awe of God’s mysterious truth. They make us joyful with gratitude that we have been given to know and steward the mysteries of heaven. I came across such a passage this morning.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.  For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29

I am going to leave it to you to search out the deepest meanings of this verse; but I will give you a running start with a couple of thoughts:

  1. We are receiving a kingdom: Not “will receive”, like a sweet-by-and-by promise. The kingdom of God is at hand. How so? How do we receive it?
  2. Let us have grace: Why not faith; or “grace and faith”? Can I serve God without grace? Is this the grace that saves, or something more? How do I acquire it?
  3. Reverence and godly fear: Are these two different things? Is there a godly fear that is more than reverence? What does this fear look like? Where does it come from? How do I acquire it?
  4. God is a consuming fire: God is love and a consuming fire? How does that work? What does He consume? Does it hurt? Is that necessary?

Let me encourage you to face these questions with courage and expectancy. Expect to find the truth that will make you free. Share what you find with others. Become a faithful steward of the mysteries of God. It is your right and obligation.

 

Humbly yours and His forever,

CompassDoes the grace of God empower any activity or endeavor that is not His will?

Does His will ever lack the grace to accomplish what He intends?

As leaders in the Marketplace, it is important to determine, resolve and reckon what you believe about these two questions. Access to His grace for your next endeavor depends on it.  It is a matter of success or failure – even glorious victory or eternal destruction.

Let’s start with the first. If a person is self determined in what He does – including what He does “for God” – then that person’s answer is “yes, God does empower activity outside His will.” More likely, that person is not concerned with God empowering the work they have set out to accomplish. This sounds quite foolish, particularly when we consider the potential outcome.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23

Only those that do the Father’s will shall enter the kingdom of heaven! Wow!! We can do any number of wonderful things in Jesus’ name and still be labeled, by Him, as practitioners of lawlessness. What a tragic surprise awaits those that pursue supernatural work outside of the Father’s will!!

This begs another question: Where did these lawless ones get the power to prophesy, cast out demons and do many wonders?

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work… The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2Thessalonians 2:7, 9-10

Whoa! Even though the lawless one has not been revealed, “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work”. There is a grave warning here: It possible to do supernatural work outside of the Father’s will because there is another (i.e., Satan) willing to give us power; for the work in His power will lead to the destruction of many.

Let me ask you again: Is this possible for those that call Jesus, “Lord, Lord”? Could we be so deceived? Read the rest of this entry »

Looking to become leaders in their industryListen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days. Proverbs 19:20

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. Proverbs 20:5

Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. Proverbs 27:9

God speaks in community. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” I have discovered that “in the midst of them”, He always has something to say. The only time He does not speak is when the one giving and/or receiving His counsel are not prepared.

Given all that the Holy Bible has to say about godly counsel, it is not surprising that one of the more popular models for Marketplace Ministry is the Peer-to-Peer Advisory Group. I have been blessed to be a part of such a group for over three years now. It has been time well invested for the kingdom of God. BTW: If you would like to join such a group, please let me know.

My group only meets once a month, so it is important to make the most of our time together. Each member has a wealth of practical knowledge and experience to bring to the table; and there are times when practical counsel is needed. However, the most impactful counsel is the counsel that comes from the heart of God and the mind of Christ – spoken through men who have prepared themselves to speak for, and hear from, the Father and His Son. Read the rest of this entry »

Bird Cage“Nothing to Lose; Nothing to Hide; Nothing to Prove; Nothing to Fear.” Twelve Words that will Change Your Life and Business Forever, Ray Hilbert, President of Truth@Work

What encouraging words to make us free! Freedom! It is one of the greatest things God offers in calling out Marketplace Leaders; yet it is one of the most difficult to appropriate. So, for this month’s tip, let’s explore the truths of these words; truths that promise to make us free.

Nothing to Lose – The truth is God has the power to raise up and shut down businesses in a moment; and He is not beyond doing just that. When we truly reckon this to be true, our minds will be renewed to think about our responsibilities as owners, executives and professionals. We will be more interested to hear and understand His plans, than trying to work out our own. We will be free from the fear of loss.

Nothing to Hide – Let’s face it: If we have something to hide, then we have a bigger problem; for we have a problem with God. Our problem with Him is either the sin we are trying to hide from others, or it is an issue of pride. When we come across something we are trying to hide, we should recognize the grace of God in the revelation. We have been made free from deception; and now free to repent, confess our sin and walk in deliverance (1John 1:9).

Nothing to Prove – Seeking to prove ourselves is the same as seeking glory from others. This issue of pride is much more dangerous (and the revelation more merciful) than the sin we may be hiding. Pride comes before a fall. The wise man will submit to the Holy Spirit rooting out the pride – being set free from the basest of sins. Furthermore, we must recognize that the “good work” we are created to walk in is more God’s work than our own (Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 5:16). Freedom comes when we are satisfied with the proof and glory that God shares with us, in His way and time.

Nothing to Fear – We have explored the issue of fear in previous tips. Let me know if you need to see them again. For now, let’s recognize that God provides the grace that we need to get and stay free of the fear of man. Jesus commanded that we should, instead, fear God. This too is a motivation and a means of freedom in our Father’s kingdom.

Marketplace Ministry Tip: Reckon these truths for yourself. Allow the Holy Spirit to use them to renew your mind and make you free. Use these truths to make free someone in your spheres of influence. Contact me, at rob@inlightconsulting.com, if I can be of assistance.

 

Humbly yours and His forever,

Well DoneMy legacy doesn’t matter. It isn’t important that I be remembered. It’s important that when I stand before the Lord, he says, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ I want to finish strong. James Dobson

I think it is interesting that most do not think about finishing well until they are near the finish line. How would things have gone if you had thought about the finish when you started your business or career? Would you have done something different to prepare yourself and your company to insure you finished well?

Of course, the finishing well that I am talking about is not measured by the things of this world. It would be wise to consider how we are measuring our success. There are many that will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Regrettably, others will be surprised:

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’  Matthew 7:21-23

To finish well, we have to prepare for it. This is common business sense. A sales executive doesn’t wait until October to load up his pipeline if he hopes to finish the year well. The production manager hires and trains well before the delivery schedule on that new big order.

So, have you prepared to finish well? As they say, “Better late than never.”

Marketplace Ministry Tip: The first step in finishing well is to think about it – in the right way. Who are you finishing well for? What does He want to accomplish through you and your business or vocation? Turn your heart and mind to Him, and start asking the hard questions. Contact me, at rob@inlightconsulting.com, if I can help you in this regard.

Your servant and His forever,

Partnership and team workFear is something we do not like to talk or think about – particularly in business. Why? Because we have been taught that to do so is a sign of weakness. This is a narrow and deceptive perspective. Why? Because hiding fear does not make it go away; it only drives it into our subconscious mind, where we are even less likely to deal with it properly.

Refusing to consider the fear in our lives has another, perhaps more profound, impact on our success in life and business. In our attempts to suppress the fear that cripples us, we inevitably suppress the fear that promises to empower us for success. That’s right: There is a fear that is good for us.

The Book of Proverbs promises that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (1:7) and wisdom (111:10), and the source of strong confidence (14:26). The fear of the LORD leads to a life of satisfaction and protection from evil (19:23). The right fear can be the best thing for our professional and personal lives.

There is a good and a bad fear. Jesus put it this way:

4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!                                             Luke 12:4-5

There are things and beings we should fear, and those that we should not. Fear can empower us; and fear can paralyze us. In either case, fear must be considered if we are to benefit from it (the right fear), or deal with it appropriately (the wrong fear).

So, how should you deal with the fears that don’t belong? For the Christian, it is really quite simple. Fears are like little dogs with big barks. Behind every fear there is a lie. Deal with the lie, and the fear will fly.

Marketplace Ministry Tip: Ungodly fear can be a great tutor in the practice of prayer. Confess your fear to God. Ask Him to expose the lie. Ask forgiveness for your belief in the lie. Ask God to replace the lie with His truth about the issue. Believe and reckon His truth to be truth for you. Take action in light of the truth you have been given. Contact me for more encouragement in this topic at rob@inlightconsulting.com.

Your servant and His forever,

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