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I pray this letter finds you and yours well, and well blessed. I hope it will leave you encouraged.

Encouragement – the act of putting courage in – is truly something we all need in this season. Courage is contagious; it can be drawn from others, and it can be shared.

Let’s begin with this:

Serving the King,

That you love and admire,

Is neither burden nor responsibility;

It is opportunity and privilege.

Instruments are useless,

Until they are put to good use.

They lay in the dark drawer,

Lonely,

Until the Master selects them,

For His good work.

The most useful tools,

Are the ones placed out,

Within easy reach.

They fit the Master’s hand,

And His hand fits them.

Perhaps the greatest courage we need in this hour is to commit our way to the LORD, trusting in Him to bring to pass whatever He desires. Our hope is to be used, but we must learn to wait patiently on Him.

As this pandemic began, sequestering most of us in our homes, many I spoke with believed God was trying to get our attention, that we would draw closer to Him, for rest, reset, and renewal, in preparation for opportunities to advance His kingdom in the coming storms of this decade. Since then, the chaos of economic crisis and the lawlessness that has gripped this country have threatened to distract and draw us from God’s presence and peace.

So, we offer you this encouragement: Read the rest of this entry »

“Almost 19,000 children have been sexually groomed in England in the past year, according to official figures that have prompted warnings of an ‘epidemic’. Campaigners say the true number is far higher…” – The Independent, December 2019 (“Sexually groomed” is the politically correct phrase for abducted and raped multiple times by gangs of men).

This is what the Bible calls wickedness and evil. Satan is not to blame (James 4:7); neither is the world (Galatians 6:14). This is the depravity of mankind. This is carnality, the product of mankind left to their own reign and control. This is what Jesus Christ came to die for, to redeem.

I am reminded how much of a bubble I live in. And for that I am grateful; I have not experienced this kind of evil. I am also remorseful and concerned, for my senses have been dulled and mostly blinded to the evils of mankind.

Consequently, I have underestimated and undervalued what the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have done and are doing to restore what they lost in mankind’s rebellion. I have undervalued and underestimated what they desire to do through me and my brethren. And I recognize how incompetent, how insufficient I am for even the smallest part of this endeavor. It is imperative that I become a vessel and instrument of God’s grace.

As far as I know right now, God has not called me to rescue exploited children (as much as I would like to). He has not called me to punish the men and women that exploit them (again, as much as I would like to). Read the rest of this entry »

I suspect, like me, you could use a little encouragement. It seems that we are turning the calendar into an increasingly uncertain and chaotic future. Perhaps God is stripping away our earthly foundations and shaking us free from the deceptions and distractions of the world, to get our attention and draw our gaze to His Son (2Corinthians 3:18).

Since the beginning of this ministry, we have taught that chaos is normal for the child of God. The Holy Spirit uses it to transform us from glory to glory – to work the bad stuff out and to work the good stuff in – all in preparation for God’s next assignment. That is our hope for you and those in your spheres of influence.

We can be encouraged that those submitted to His preparation (Philippians 2:13) will walk in the exceedingly abundant good work He has planned (Ephesians 3:20-21). Be encouraged that every good work is possible when it is by God’s grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10). Patience in the preparation is necessary and critical, but the moment will come when we will walk out into His assignment – for His glory and our reward.

Year-end Report and Hope for the Future

2019 has been a year of faithfulness and preparation. By God’s grace, we have been faithful to make disciples who are transforming their spheres of influence. By God’s grace, we have been faithful to lead the ministries He has entrusted to our keeping. By God’s grace, we have been faithful to His preparation for more.

By God’s grace…

Two substantial matters of preparation will culminate in 2020. By God’s grace, I will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in Not-for-Profit Leadership. Please pray with us as we seek God’s purpose and plans for this education and the degree He has invested with us.

Secondly, An Enemy Lies Within will be published in early February. By God’s grace, this new book will expose the carnal mind as our #1 enemy and help Christians change the way they think and believe. God will use it to restore and renew the Western church. You can check out the preface here.

Of course, we want you to be a part of God’s good work through An Enemy Lies Within. Our marketing strategy depends on organic, grass-roots distribution of the book. We hope that you will buy An Enemy Lies Within for yourself, for those in your spheres of influence, and for the leaders you know. As you plan your end-of-year giving, please consider your participation in this life-changing endeavor.

We are also looking for a few individuals, companies, or ministries that wish to play a more substantial role in this project. If that is you, or someone you know, please contact me.

We are eternally grateful for your participation with us as instruments of God’s grace and glory. Your prayers, encouragement, and financial support are essential elements of His grace; and by His grace, we will continue to advance His kingdom together.

God bless you in the coming year with discernment, encouragement, and His presence in the chaos.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

I recently participated in a Facebook “conversation” regarding the value of Christ’s death in our salvation. Trying to encourage the other participants to look beyond the cross to the life that saves us, I referenced Romans 5:8-10.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Confusion ensued, ultimately leading to this question: Rob, do you accept that one can have assurance of their salvation?

As most of you know, I try to “just be the pen” in everything I write. God was faithful to direct my fingers in the following response. I hope it encourages you to share with others. We need to be having these kinds of discussions in the body of Christ.

Our Answer (slightly edited): Of course you can have assurance of salvation, assuming God’s conditions are met (e.g., endure to the end (Matthew 10:22), abide and bear fruit (John 15:1-8), do not bury your talents (Matthew 25:24-30), avoid falling away (2Thessalonians 2:1-4)). In case you were wondering, I do not see these as the Christian’s work to procure salvation. They are the work of God appropriated by our continuing faith (which is also a gift, Ephesians 2:8-9).

Still, salvation requires participation (Philippians 2:12-13 describes this beautifully). Striving to enter is necessary (Luke 13:24). We must be diligent to add to our faith and make our call and election sure (2Peter 1:5-11). This is only possible in Christ and by the power of His resurrected life.

I fear that many are loitering around the cross, either worshipping the instrument of death or trying to worship a savior who is no longer there. They are not being instructed and encouraged to move on down the difficult road that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:14).

The old man must be buried and the carnal mind subdued – both works of the Spirit, requiring our submission (Romans 8:13; Romans 12:2; 2Corinthians 3:18). We must walk in the newness of life that has been offered (Romans 6:4). That life is not our own (Mark 8:35). It is the resurrected life of Jesus Christ. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live… (Galatians 2:20)

And so, the bottom-line answer is: The one who continues to surrender, sacrifice, and submit their life to the lordship of Jesus Christ can have certain assurance of their salvation. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear precious child of God,

The fear of works-based salvation has pushed many into a terrible disadvantage. We have neglected the disciplines of faith for far too long. Of course, the deceptive fears put forward by our carnal mind are not totally to blame. We have allowed the world to make our lives too busy for any concentrated effort toward spiritual maturity. And then there is the Devil, constantly questioning God’s promise to work in us to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

Our latest book, An Enemy Lies Within, encourages the practice of Biblical disciplines for the exercise of our faith in overcoming our carnal mind. When we were reborn, God gave us a new heart; the mind must be renewed. It is with the heart that we believe unto salvation; and that is a lifelong process.

Several of the disciplines encourage, enable, and empower our joining the Holy Spirit is this work of transformation. They include solitude, contemplation, prayer, fasting, and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

An Enemy Lies Within flips the script by leveraging our God-given heart against the deceptions and control tactics of our carnal mind. The eBook is available from all the usual platforms. We have left it at the introductory price of $3.99. Let me know if you need a coupon code for a free copy.

I also strongly recommend The Spirit of the Disciplines, by the late Dallas Willard. It is a bit more academic than An Enemy Lies Within, but well worth the read. I highly recommend it. Here are two excerpts:

“…what are the disciplines for the spiritual life? The disciplines are activities of mind and body purposefully undertaken, to bring our personality and total being into effective cooperation with the divine order (Willard, 1988).”

“Who are the great ones in The Way, what are the significant movements in the history of the church that do not bear the deep and pervasive imprint of the disciplines for the spiritual life? If there are none, what leads us to believe that we might be an exception to the rule and might know the power of the Kingdom life without the appropriate disciplines (Willard, 1988)?”

Please accept our challenge to pursue one or two of the spiritual disciplines this year. Let me know how I can help. Also, this is a particularly important matter for Christian leaders in the workplace. Share this newsletter as an encouragement for their spiritual growth. The church desperately needs them.

God bless you with renewed desire and passion for the advance of His kingdom in your spheres of influence.

Updates and Prayer Requests

  • We are grateful to God for the prayers and support for the An Enemy Lies Within project. A publisher has agreed to take on the project and is currently working on the first proof and edit pass.
  • In regard to my school adventure, I have one week remaining in this semester. Fall semester begins in approximately two weeks. Your prayers for wisdom and perseverance have been effectual.
  • The Father recently stirred the desire of my heart for teaching. It was unexpected – particularly given my current workload at Huntington University. A four-week opportunity has opened up, with a friend’s Sunday School class. The Father is an exquisite orchestrator!
  • We continue our search for fellowships and ministries to partner with us at 2:2 Collective.  Please pray for God’s guidance and wisdom; that He would connect us with those who have a heart for unity – to advance the kingdom together. Pray for continued wisdom and courage in my roles as President and Treasurer.
  • Continue to pray for the workplace leaders you know – for their transformation into mighty men and women of God; that they would boldly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Let me know how I can help you minister to them.
  • I am eternally grateful to all who pray for inLight, my family, and those to whom we minister.  Your prayers are effectual and much needed.  Please continue to pray as the Lord leads you.
  • I strongly encourage you to ensure your prayers are foremost for the glory of God; and that you first worship Him.  He is the Giver of all good things.  He deserves our focused attention.

Partnering with inLight Consulting

God’s purpose for inLight Consulting is beyond human capability. We are desperately dependent on Him; and would have it no other way. We are grateful for the continued support of those that trust God to use this ministry to further His kingdom.  Please pray for our vision and mission.

Share the truths you find here with the leaders in your life; it will make them free.

God bless you with wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; and may He give you the grace and courage to walk in the work He has prepared for you.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

Willard, D. (1988). The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Those of you who faithfully read this newsletter and our blog articles will have noticed a more urgent – some would say harsher – tone to the recent messages. I hope and pray the frankness with encourage you to do the same. Simply saying, “We are living in desperate times”, does not lessen our desperation. Faith without works is dead.

At least for now, my work is being the best pen I can be and discipling those who are interested in God’s adventurous life. The good work God created you to walk in may be something else altogether different. You will find your adventure and assignment in the desire God has placed in your heart for this season.

Galatians 1:10 has been an increasingly convicting and encouraging word for me:

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Most of us were born with a desire to please others, and we were nurtured in that desire for most of our lives. As we all know (and many of us have experienced), this can be a doubly dangerous trap. First, we may find ourselves trying to please others instead of God. Second, our desire to please others gets in the way of our persuading them in the truths of God’s kingdom.

Ironically, our desire to please others often harms them. Our failure to persuade them leaves them captive to deception (John 8:32). As we have written in An Enemy Lies Within, the deceptions of our carnal minds run much deeper than we think or imagine. The damage has and will continue to be catastrophic, if we do not begin speaking the truth in love. Withholding God’s truth from someone is the opposite of loving them.

In closing, allow me to encourage and challenge you with three things that have been on my mind lately.

  • How much of our religion is Biblical Christianity? How much is the civil religion of America? Do these religions have the same god? Are they compatible? One was secured and is advanced by “power under” (i.e., Calvary-like service); the other by “power over” – raising the sword against the perceived enemy. One submits to the will of a King; the other celebrates and violently defends the rights of the individual.
  • The greatest value of the abundant life is the relationships offered in that life: Walking in the Spirit; Christ living in us; bearing fruit that glorifies the Father; being an instrument of light and glory. I could go on. Why are we willing to settle for less? These things must be pursued. Why are we not desperate to put away every weight and sin that so easily entangles us?
  • It seems we must decide if it is safe or warranted to ignore the conditions, warnings, and prescriptions of Scripture. Only those who do the will of the Father shall enter into His kingdom (Matthew 7:21). Will ignorance of His will excuse us? Does anyone think God hides His will from His children? Is He not working in us to will and do to His good pleasure? How would we judge ourselves to know we are not resisting His will and work?

I strongly believe we should be discussing these things with people in our spheres of influence. Who else will?

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

Updates and Prayer Requests

We are grateful to God for the prayers and support for the An Enemy Lies Within project. The eBook is available at all major publishers. Please continue to pray and consider supporting the project, as we are preparing the printable version.

In regards to my school adventure, I have one class remaining in this semester. It begins in two weeks and will run for five. Some exciting news: I recently learned that I will be graduating in May of next year. Your prayers for wisdom and perseverance have been effectual.

We continue our search for fellowships and ministries to partner with us at 2:2 Collective.  Please pray for God’s guidance and wisdom; that He would connect us with those who have a heart for unity – to advance the kingdom together. The board recently approved the pursuit of a partnership with The College of Prayer International – to establish a prayer campus at 2:2 Collective.  Pray for grace and courage to glorify God in my roles as President and Treasurer.

Continue to pray for the workplace leaders you know – for their transformation into mighty men and women of God; that they would boldly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Let me know how I can help you minister to them.

I am eternally grateful to all who pray for inLight, my family, and those to whom we minister.  Your prayers are effectual and much needed.  Please continue to pray as the Lord leads you.

I strongly encourage you to ensure your prayers are foremost for the glory of God; and that you first worship Him.  He is the Giver of all good things.  He deserves our focused attention.

Except for a dear friend, A. W. Tozer has been God’s most instrumental disciple maker in my life for the last two to three years. Before Tozer, there was Andrew Murray. Neither of these men (Tozer and Murray) are alive today; they have discipled me through their writings. Many other writers, both alive and dead, have played their part in God’s plan for my being made into a disciple of Jesus Christ. I am grateful to God for each of them.

God created language and gave men the idea and knowhow for paper and print; Gutenberg was God’s man. All good things come from God (James 1:17), including mass book production, word processors, and eReaders. He works all things to the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose (Romans 8:28). God continues creating methods and mechanisms that put the truth into the hands and hearts of His children.

For me personally, God used many patient people to teach and encourage me to read. My friend taught me that giving away good books was a great way to make disciples. Consequently, God has used the written word to greatly bless me and those for whom I am responsible.

Of all the good works I have been created to walk in, writing is my favorite. Beginning with a senior class English teacher, God has used several people to encourage my writing. I am grateful for each one. On many occasions I have experienced being nothing but God’s pen. And so, I write as often as God allows.

My hope is that millions would be encouraged by the articles and books God has used me to write. My attempts at promotion, however, have been less than visibly successful. I am left to trust that He has and will get them into the hands and hearts of those He has determined, when the time is right (a great advantage to writing things down).

Those of you who have supported this ministry (in any way) must recognize your place in God’s orchestration – to get the truth into the hand and hearts of people He loves. You are part of the legacy we are leaving behind.

With that in mind, I add my thank you to His, “Well done!”

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

At inLight Consulting, our mission is to encourage, edify, and equip Workplace Leaders to become disciple makers and transformation agents.

Isaiah 58:13-14 contains some incredible promises.  I read it every Sunday morning.  Check it out and consider the following:

The way we remember and honor the Sabbath Day is a shadow of our appreciation for the LORD’s Sabbath Rest.  Do we call it a delight and honor Him in it?  On that day, do we do our own ways, find our own pleasures, and speak our own words?  Is the Sabbath Day still important to us?

Remembering the Sabbath Day was important enough to the LORD to include it in the Ten Commandments. Many who read this will be quick to say, “But Rob, we are no longer under the Law.”

Of course, of course!  Praise God for the work of the Lord of the Sabbath! We walk in liberty. However, we are not free to do as we please. We are bondservants. Our pleasure should be His.

Let’s be careful not to confuse ourselves. Would we say that the LORD is no longer concerned with murder, adultery and worshipping other gods? Of course not! The Ten Commandments are still important to the LORD.

This raises some interesting questions. Could it be that our neglect of one commandment has led to back-sliding with the others? Is it possible that our failure to honor the Sabbath Day inhibits our pro-life message? Are we hypocrites to push for movies without the vain use of God’s name? 

What must our children be thinking?

Furthermore, we must recognize and acknowledge that this is more than a practical, observable issue. As with all things important to God, the spiritual ramifications of this are much more significant. 

What must the LORD be thinking?

Read the rest of this entry »

To the beloved, whom I love in truth:  I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers; just as you walk in the truth.

I have had a good season of cycling this summer. I have logged some extra hours riding with my wife; and I have been intentional about riding the harder hills around my house. Those hills are not as hard as they use to be.

It occurs to me that I can choose to enjoy the ride being easier, or I can apply my recently developed strength to push up the hill faster. Settling for the former leaves me at a plateau in my conditioning. Choosing the latter leverages what I have gained, preserves developmental momentum and, in this case, leads to stronger legs and lungs.

Don’t get me wrong: We all need to rest and relax. I am not necessarily suggesting you “work harder”. I am suggesting that you leverage what has been established in you during seasons of increased effort. This is particularly applicable to Christians in the workplace – with one bit of explanation. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

To the beloved, whom I love in truth:  I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers; just as you walk in the truth.

God speaks when we surrender to the desire in our hearts to hear from Him. This is true beyond our “quiet times” – even while we are exercising (or working in the yard, painting the house, etc).

Most of you know that I ride a bicycle for exercise. I also ride to hear from God. As long as I go out most interested in hearing what He has to say, He always says something.

Sometimes we discuss His plans for my work. Sometimes we talk about a decision I have to make, or a situation I am dealing with. Several times, He has shown me a spiritual truth through my cycling. Here’s a recent example:

There is a form to cycling that is most efficient and productive. It varies by individual; and individuals have different keys to help them maintain good form. For me that is “butt back, hips forward and heels down”.

Maintaining form is most difficult when it is most needed. When the hill won’t end soon enough – particularly at the end of a ride – I find myself reverting back to old habits. I move up on the seat, roll my back and start pedaling through my toes. Read the rest of this entry »

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