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And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray… Matthew 6:7-9a

The denomination in which I grew up recited what we called “the Lord’s Prayer” (aka, the Model Prayer) during every church service. It was probably the first passage I memorized as a young Christian. Regrettably, it became “vain repetition”; I really didn’t think about what I was praying.

In a previous article, we proposed that the Model Prayer is something more than a prayer to recite once a week; it is a prayer of positioning. The Model Prayer is not the prayer to end all prayers, but the prayer to begin all prayers. It is through this model that we come into the Father’s presence – in humility, meekness and total dependency on Him. Without this positioning, all that we have to say are the vain repetitions of man.

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 6:9b-13

In this article, with this notion of positioning in mind, we would like to explore three foundational truths that have been lost to the modern church. All three are found in the prayer’s last acknowledgement: For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. We will look at them one at a time. Read the rest of this entry »

Most of you are reading this article because you are curious about someone else’s perspective on the kingdom of God. Others because you are passionate about your relationship with God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. Perhaps these are two points on a spectrum (just an observation).

Perspective and passion are important considerations when we ask ourselves this question. There are at least two perspectives to consider. First, there is God’s perspective and our perspective. For the sake of brevity, we will put aside our perspective and consider His.

From His perspective, there are two additional perspectives related to the meaning of “why”? This is where I want to focus our attention.

“Why?” can mean, “What was His motivation?” It can also mean, “What is His purpose?” Someone might argue that these are ultimately the same. However, there is much to learn in considering them apart from one another.

When we ask ourselves, “Why would God save a wretch like me?” the automatic response is almost always, “Because He loved me.” We get this from John 3:16. God’s motivation is love. That’s true; and it sounds so good, we want to stop there and enjoy the moment (go ahead; feel free).

The experience of God’s love is an awesome thing.  However, failing to move on – as many in the Church have (been taught) – leaves us with a woefully incomplete answer.

Read the rest of this entry »

You may recall from the beginning of this series that we are on this journey together. God has called me – and inLight Consulting – to more. Like you, I feel the tension of transition in the air. God is up to something.

Up to this point in the series, I have been introducing (and applying to myself) the basic principles that I share with other Workplace Leaders. This past week, God introduced something extra.

It is not unusual for God to add something particular for the person I am discipling. In this case, that person is me. I hope it will also help some of you.

Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. Westminster Shorter Catechism

Motivation is a big deal in the kingdom of God. As we prepare ourselves to be transformed by the Holy Spirit for the more of God’s call, it will do us well to check our motivation.

Why are you following Jesus? Why did you say the “sinner’s prayer”? Why did you make that fateful decision? Why are interested in the more God is offering you? Read the rest of this entry »

Multi-ethnic pile of handsWell, here we are again: The beginning of another year. I pray that you, your family, and your organization are well and well blessed, in 2017. I hope that you will discover God’s purpose, plan and power for joyful, Spirit-filled ministry.

My desire, and the purpose of inLight Consulting, is to help Workplace Leaders find joyful, Spirit-filled ministry. This relates to business in a profound and powerful way. Let me explain.

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.  He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:4-6

God intends to give you the desires He has placed in your heart. Trust Him, and He will bring it to pass. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light. Others will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Who wouldn’t want that?

However, there is a catch – a condition. God requires that we first find, and surrender to, the BIG picture purposes He has established. This is both good for His kingdom, and good for us.

I dare to say that most business owners and executives find purpose in their profession. While this seems acceptable (even honorable), it is a limited and inhibiting perspective. Our purpose in life is much grander than any profession or business entity. These things should be found inside (i.e., serving) the BIG picture purpose of our lives. Read the rest of this entry »

Vine and Branch“I thought abiding meant to abide by the rules.”

“Our abiding in Jesus Christ is best measured by the frequency with which God gives us the desires of our heart. The fruit produced in our abiding are those answers.”

God has used these two comments – both heard in the last couple of weeks – to encourage me. First, I believe He would have me introduce you to “The Power of Abiding” (Map 22 of The Map Maker).  That comes later.

Secondly (but first), there is the reason my mind has been so captivated by the comments.

The first comment was offered, in all sincerity, by a brother that has been in church for quite some time. As you can see from the definition below (sorry, you will have to click the “read more” link), his understanding is nowhere close to the truth.

However you look at it, this follower of Christ had no idea that abiding meant “to be held, kept”; or “to continue to be”.

How many more have missed the basic meaning of such an important Biblical word and context; not to mention the mystery that lies beyond it? How far has this skewed the understanding, faith – even the very life – of Christians?

Praise God; He is gracious! If you had been there, you would have literally seen, on the face of this brother, the impact “abide” was beginning to have on his understanding as a branch. The Holy Spirit was using the simple definition of a word to transform him by the renewing of his mind!

It was exciting to see! This is the power of searching out the matter and sharing what you find with others!

The second comment (above) had much the same effect on me. The Holy Spirit has been using it to completely redefined my understanding of “bearing much fruit”; and to renew my passion to abide in Jesus Christ more and more each day.

While I knew what “abiding” meant, I did not understand what it meant to abide.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1John 14-15

As I see it, abiding is being so “in Christ” that I know the Father’s will before I ask for anything; AND only asking for the things He wills. Easier said than done? Absolutely! Possible? With God, all things are possible!

So, why is this worth our pursuit? By this our Father is glorified, that we bear much fruit; so we will become disciples of Jesus Christ. What could be more important?

As you are considering that question, here is “The Power of Abiding” – in its entirety: Read the rest of this entry »

Partnership and team workA brand is what someone feels, thinks or discerns about a company or person. This is the outside-looking-in perspective; the end product of a discovery process focused primarily on what other people think.

I want to suggest a different way; a way focused on what God desires for you and your company. I like to call it the inside-shining-out perspective. Consider the most powerful brand image:

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

This saying of Jesus is something we must do if we want our business to stand the tests of time and storm (Matthew 7:24-25). Notice His command is to “let your light so shine”; and not do good work. This, in and of itself, may challenge your way of thinking; and that is good.

Now, what is that light?

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:4

When others see our good work, they will be led to glorify God by the life of Christ that abides in us. How does this light become so impressive?

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2Corinthians 3:18

The Holy Spirit uses the transformation process to create a supernatural brand. That process begins with our beholding the glory of the Lord, Jesus Christ. How does that happen?

 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. John 14:21

Jesus will manifest Himself to those that have and keep His commandments.

Honoring God with our business is a challenging adventure; particularly in challenging times. We are continually tempted to take control and seek success the world’s way. Be encouraged that He is faithful, He loves you, and He has a plan for you. Trust and obey; for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.

Assignment

  1. Take inventory. Are you more concerned with the world’s opinion, or God’s? Are you willing to do things God’s way, regardless of the cost? Are there commands of Christ that you are not obeying?
  2. Once you have reconciled with the Boss, ask Him to show you the desire He has put in your heart for this season. This desire is His purpose for you and your company. It will become a huge part of your brand.

Humbly yours and forever His,

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