You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Christian’ tag.

There are some passages that we would rather not think too much about. In most cases, failure to think invites disaster.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. Hebrews 12:14-17

Pursue means to “seek after eagerly, to earnestly endeavor to acquire”. One translation reads “make every effort”; another, “strive”. This latter view reminds me of Jesus’ astounding revelation in Luke 13:

And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” Luke 13:22-24

Striving for peace with all people is hard enough; it rings of “love your enemies (Matthew 5:44).” But this matter of holiness is the matter we struggle to embrace. Does this passage really mean that holiness is to be pursued? By whom?

What if our pursuit fails? Will we truly miss out on seeing the Lord? Is that a sweet-by-and-by thing, or something that also affects our relationship with Him now?

How do we respond to the warning that follows? What does it mean to fall short of the grace of God? How does something become defiled if it has not already been cleansed?

Esau was a profane person who sold His birthright. He despised the promised blessing of his father, and God hated him for it (Romans 9:13). What does this mean for a born-again believer?

Can we sell our birthright? What does it mean to be rejected by our Father (see Matthew 7:21-23)? What does it mean to find “no place for repentance (see Hebrews 6:4-6)?”

These are serious and sobering questions that every Christian should be asking themselves.

Let me close with this: What does “one morsel of food” look like for a son and daughter of God? What might our carnal mind deceive us into believing is more important than our birthright? As leaders, how do we help others avoid this tragedy?

God bless you with wisdom and courage to resist the temptations of our enemies.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. Romans 8:5-7

The carnal mind is, by its very nature, self-seeking and rebellious; it can be nothing else. This is the source of its enmity with God. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the desire to reason like God was forever linked to our fallen state.

This does not end when we are born again. We are given a new heart and spirit, but the mind remains carnal. Turning to our carnal mind – something most have been trained to do since kindergarten – invites the rebellion and sin of our carnal flesh.

Consequently, our carnal mind must be exposed and overcome. This is accomplished by the renewing of our mind – an iterative and ongoing process that depends on our submission to, and active participation with, the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2; 2Corinthians 3:18).

Our reckoning (logizomai) the truth of God’s word serves as a catalyst for the renewing of our mind. Together, reckoning and renewing are important steps in our becoming obedient to the faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26). Read the rest of this entry »

For those who prefer a summary:

2018 was extremely fulfilling and productive for the advancement of God’s kingdom. It could not have been so without your investment in inLight Consulting.

For those that appreciate a little more, the following should give you an idea of the good work God has done in response to your prayers for, and support of, inLight Consulting.

As you know, we are only vessels, instruments, and weapons. The Father is giving us the desire of our heart – to help Christian leaders find joyful, Spirit-filled ministry – in increasingly dynamic ways. We are simply walking in the good work He has prepared for His glory.

  1. We purposefully encouraged, edified, and equipped Christian leaders to become disciple makers and transformation agents. We continue to see those whom we have been discipling making disciples of others – a great joy we hope you share as a partner in the work.
  2. Our writing (I am just the pen) has primarily focused on changing the way Christians think. We have published 40+ articles this year; many of them shared in several online and print outlets. This focus on the mind has culminated in a new book, An Enemy Lies Within, which will be published on January 31st.
  3. With the gracious help of our webmaster, Doug McGukin, we restructured and enhanced the inLightConsulting.com website to focus on the three desires God has for this ministry: Workplace Transformation, Building Strong Foundations, and Equipping for Greater Works.
  4. We advanced two semesters closer to a Business Degree in Not-for-Profit Leadership. In the process, God has used the education in very precise ways for the startup of another ministry.
  5. As president and treasurer, I have been blessed to work with other strong Christian leaders in the formation of 2:2 Collective, Inc. Our stated purpose is “to serve the Body of Christ, foster unity, and be a catalyst for spiritual growth and vitality.” The opportunities for making disciples and transforming spheres of influence is boundless.
  6. Our family has been blessed in several ways: Beth and I, now married for 38 years, continue to grow in our faith together; our daughter married the man God has been preparing for her; and, our son continues to mature into the man God will use mightily. I have been able to spend more time with my parents this year; one of my greatest joys has been watching my dad disciple a church fellowship as their Lay Leader.

As the instrument, I look back on 2018 and marvel at what God has accomplished through this ministry. It is a testimony to His patience and persistence, and His intention to use the foolish, weak, and lowly “that no flesh should glory in His presence.”

Your part – whatever part you played – warrants a “well done, good and faithful servant.” And we will continue together to make disciples and transform our spheres of influence, for the glory of God and His Son, our Savior and King.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

When two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, He has promised to be with them (Matthew 18:20). My general attitude towards this verse has been that He is there for us – to give us revelation, or bless us in some other way. This realization has left me ashamed (and probably not as much as I should be).

Jesus Christ is Lord!

He is the Lord!

Jesus joins our meeting for Himself and His Father in Heaven. I have dishonored Him in this regard, in practice and in my writing. I confess my sin and pray He will forgive me and deliver me from this horrid unrighteousness. I repent and pray for grace to never think, speak, or write this way again.

It is baffling and disconcerting that I have missed such an obvious truth. For those that have wondered why I am so suspicious of the way I think, you now have some idea. I hate my carnal mind now more than ever.

I appreciate God turning this evil to His good purposes. I praise God for His patience and persistence with me.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

BTW: The Lord used an article by A. W. Tozer to help me see through this deception. You can find it here.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the voting for the cover of An Enemy Lies Within. Cover #3 received slightly more votes that Cover #1. We are hoping to have the eBook available by the end of the year; your prayers are appreciated. The following is an excerpt from the book.

The Hidden Enemy

“The devil made me do it”, popularized by Flip Wilson in the 1970s, has found its way into the American church. It’s the way we like to think. The devil is our most popular enemy.

If we cannot blame the devil, there is always the world to point our finger at. Our government is a particularly favorite scapegoat. I experienced this several years ago while discussing the decline of Christian values in society with a brother in the Lord. Expressing a genuine and deep-seated frustration, he pointed in the direction of Washington, D.C. and said, “If they just hadn’t taken prayer out of school!”

I started to agree and then it occurred to me: If Christian parents taught their children the importance of prayer before every meal (and every class), prayer would still be in school. If Christian parents encouraged their children that God answers their prayers, students would be praying for every sick friend and teacher. God would be glorified!

Only Christians have the power to take prayer out of school. Depending on the government to keep it there is submitting to the wrong authority. Pointing our fingers at the government is blame-shifting. It’s all a bunch of bad thinking – and we don’t think twice about it.

It is time we came to terms with the enemy that lies within. It is time we recognized that we have three – not two – enemies trying to deceive us. Read the rest of this entry »

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. Matthew 10:24-25

Previously, we suggested there are two simple questions any Christian can use to assess their obedience to Christ and the effectiveness of their ministry:

  1. Who is discipling you?
  2. Who are you discipling?

The article seemed particularly challenging (I am only the pen); and more so for the shepherds of God’s people – pastors, preachers, teachers, etc. Being a member of this group, I was reminded: These two questions should be answerable by every Christian in every sphere of influence we have been given responsibility for as leaders.

A dear friend – and the man God has assigned to disciple me for the last 12-15 years – shared a perspective that may prove to be even more challenging. You may not like what you read. It may even offend some of you.

Generally, it’s best not to say such things at the beginning of an article. We are swimming against the current here simply because we do not want you surprised and distracted. This way, we can simply say it without a bunch of dancing around. I trust you will consider the truthfulness of it, and apply all that is worthwhile.

“Disciple Making Works”

That’s what my friend said, “Disciple making works.” He didn’t mean what I thought he meant. He went on to explain (this is the way I heard it), “Every leader is discipling everyone they lead into some understanding; and into the life that understanding prescribes. They are doing this whether they intend to, or not.

“We are either making disciples into some understanding about Christ and His Church, OR, we are making disciples to Jesus Christ Himself that He might make them as He is Himself. And it always works.” Read the rest of this entry »

Have you ever thought, “I don’t have time to manage my time?” You are not alone. It is ironic how little time people invest in making sure they are making good use of their time. Worst still, the busier we are, the less time we invest to make sure our busy-ness is worthwhile and profitable. I recognize this is not news; just consider it a reminder that time is the one thing we cannot get back, or produce.

That reminder suggests two opening words of encouragement. First, though He is timeless, God is the producer and owner of time. Secular self-help books and articles are not the place to turn for help with time management – particularly when you have access to the Author. Second, God will do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or think with the time we surrender to His good work.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13

As a conscientious leader, you are already making plans for next year (if not, you should be). Regardless of your success in 2018, you may be thinking about taking things to the next level (it is the American way). Before you do that, consider some time management strategies that will help you focus 2019 on the One Who has given you that time:

  1. Establish your calendar before the chaos begins – daily, weekly, monthly, etc. If the Lord is your CEO, then lay your calendar out before Him (as an offering). Allow Him to manage your time in His supernatural ways.
  2. Put to-do items on your calendar. Treat them like meetings with important clients. Don’t allow interruptions. Stay focused. You have been given the gift of self-control. Use it.
  3. Don’t let your smart phone manage you. Set your attention towards God’s voice, rather than that of men. Return phone calls when you cannot do anything else (e.g., driving). If necessary, allocate 30 minutes in the middle and at the end of your day to return calls.

Remember, business and spiritual growth are processes. Be patient with yourself and those in your spheres of influence. Also, decisions are more important than actions. Setting aside time to make good decisions is one of the most profitable things you can do.

Finally, consider this: Read the rest of this entry »

There are two simple questions any Christian can use to assess their obedience to Christ and the effectiveness of their ministry:

  1. Who is discipling you?
  2. Who are you discipling?

If you cannot answer the first question, you are likely not being discipled. Unless you are in their inner circle, this is not your pastor nor your Sunday School teacher. Making disciples requires relationship.

It is impossible to underestimate the impact a disciple maker can have on a person’s life (mentor is the secular term). Much of God’s grace flows down the channels of authority He has assigned for every Christian. This is not limited to teaching, counseling, etc. The life of Christ is miraculously transmitted through the disciple making relationship (e.g., faith, courage, and peace).

The Great Commission is God’s prescription for our participation in the advancement of His kingdom. Finding those that He has designated for our spiritual apprenticeship is vital to our inclusion in His story. Furthermore, it is impossible to make disciples without first being made.

Regrettably, making disciples has fallen out of favor in the church that resides here in America. Consequently, you may have to ask someone to disciple you. Before you do, ask God to identify that person. He loves talking with His children about such things.

Failure regarding our second question is a strong sign of spiritual disobedience. This is a hard judgment. It is also fair, grounded in truth, and offered in love. Read the rest of this entry »

Is anything in life accomplished in an instant? From learning to speak, to winning a girl’s heart, to career advancement, all development is a progression of incremental steps – each one building on the previous.

One might ask, “What if the last step was wrong or injurious?” In that case the next step is toward restoration; and stepping all the more needful.

The point here is that life is not a collection of events, but of processes. Even our birth begins with two cells becoming one, then two, then four, and so on. All physically animate things move in a direction – birth, growing and dying.

Recognizing this, the wise man does his best to organize his steps in the most profitable manner (meaning, he puts more than a little thought into his choices). The laisse faire approach to life rarely ends well.

Knowing that the natural life operates in process, why then would Christians live as though the spiritual life is any different? Why wouldn’t we readily recognize our spiritual life as more than a disconnected collection of events?

I will tell you why; because our carnal mind is at enmity with the Spirit, and opposed to our spiritual development. It is active in distracting and deceiving us.

We are being moved in a spiritual direction – toward evil or good, death or life. We must fight against our carnal mind for the spiritual processes that have been given to us by God for our maturation. These include sanctification, transformation, and salvation.

Furthermore, obedience to every command of the Father and Son is a process (hear, obey, act). Walking in the Spirit is a process. Faith is the process of God whereby His word to us becomes His work – over and over again, faith to faith.

This brings to mind another spiritual truth: These processes are iterative; they repeat in God-prescribed patterns. This is one of the reasons why spiritual disciplines work. Again, this is not unlike our life in the physical realm – the workday being a good example. Repetition and patterns are common to both physical and spiritual development. Read the rest of this entry »

The following includes excerpts from an upcoming book, An Enemy Lies Within. To find out more visit our Facebook page.

Thinking comes naturally to most of us. We may think about different things. We may think at different speeds. Some of us think too much; and some, not enough. But, one thing is true about all of us:

We don’t have to think about thinking.

So, why should we?

Consider the baseball player who wants to be a great hitter. If he is the rare “natural”, he will step in the batter’s box with little forethought and hit most anything thrown to him. The vast majority of us are not so gifted.

At the most elementary level, a hitter must think about the way he is standing in the batter’s box. He must think about how to hold the bat, and to rotate his wrists when swinging. He must think about the strike zone and the field of play.

If he has a good batting instructor, the hitter will learn (in advance) and consider (in process) the repertoire of pitches he will be required to hit. He will come to recognize that the pitcher will try to deceive him with the change-up and slider.

At a deeper level, an accomplished hitter will start to think about the way he is thinking when he steps into the batter’s box. He will have a plan – particular to the pitcher and situation. He will have mentally rehearsed the plan. The best hitters “get into the head of the pitcher” – both discerning what the next pitch will be, and affecting the choice.

Pick anything you want to be good at – sales, parenting, writing, you name it. There are very few things that would not come off better with some thought about the way we think. Those that think before they do something are more successful at the task than those that don’t. Similarly, those that think about their thinking become better thinkers (and doers). Read the rest of this entry »

Archives

My Twitter Feed

Pages

%d bloggers like this: