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I have a friend who ministers to me by occasionally reminding me that I think too much. Being quite the thinker himself, I don’t think he is trying to tell me to think less. There are just times when thinking gets in the way of something more important.

Much of our conversations revolve around the mysteries of God; and our desire to be good stewards of them (1Corinthians 4:1-2). For those of you who feel the same way – and those who would like to – here are a few of my favorites.

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory. 1Timothy 3:16

And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables…” Mark 4:11

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion… Romans 11:25

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory… 1Corinthians 2:7

We have been redeemed to know, and be a demonstration of, the mysteries of God – and that for our glory. Let that sink in for a minute.

Read the rest of this entry »

Now that we have positioned ourselves to hear God’s instruction, and discovered the purposes of God in His call to more, we can begin to explore His process for planning. I feel the need to share – here at the beginning – that God’s way for planning is not like anything you may have experienced in the world.

There are many ways that the kingdom of God is contrary to the world (e.g., love your enemies, the greater serve the lesser). Planning is one of those things. In fact, planning as we know it – work breakdown structures, contingencies, etc. – have no place in the kingdom of God.

This is a hard thing for a process-oriented problem solver to share. I love planning. Task lists are my thing. It is hard letting go of what you are good at.

That is why, when God called me to the more of Workplace Ministry, the first thing I had to die to was my propensity to create and own the process. At first, I thought God’s issue with me was my desire to own and control. While that was something He would deal with, the bigger consideration was the method of planning itself. Read the rest of this entry »

Faith toward God is an elementary principle. It is a basic element of the Christian foundation. It is simple – milk for babes. Yet, as we discovered in Part 1, even the meaning of faith is more than most of us consider when we hear and use the word. In this article, we will search further – to be confident that we understand, believe and live in faith that is toward God.

For your convenience, here is the meaning of faith, developed from our study of Hebrews 11:1:

Faith is the conviction of truth, founded on the substantial quality and nature of the LORD; resulting in a steadfastness of mind, courage and assurance; to hope and wait for salvation with joy and full confidence. As such, it is the proof and test of things we cannot see.

Faith is more than a feeling; more than a decision. The LORD is its foundation. It is effectual to our becoming the people of God. It is the proof and test of the supernatural.

Having laid this portion of our foundation, we can now – with greater clarity – weigh the importance of faith that is toward God.

Faith Toward God

People have faith in many things, most of them gods of another kind. Some have faith that their team will make the playoffs; or faith in a particular presidential candidate. People of “other faiths” believe in Allah, Buddha and thousands of other deities. Society works hard to train us to have faith in ourselves.

Obviously, faith alone is not enough.

Similarly, Christian faith can be misdirected. Some Christians have faith in their faith; that it will save them. Others have faith in their Christian Leaders; that they will lead them into salvation. This is faith in the wrong direction.

Faith in faith, and faith in leaders, is not enough.

The way the writer of Hebrews phrased this principle is interesting. Why not “faith in God”? After all, Jesus told the disciples, “Have faith in God.” Faith in God is important faith.

As best as I can tell, this is not a matter of translation. There is something more here. The Holy Spirit inspired the use of the word “toward” to encourage and convict us. Read the rest of this entry »

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