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If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

How much attention do we give – and should we give – to this instruction? Is this optional, prescriptive, or a command? How prevalent is this theme in the Scriptures? Two things come to mind:

  1. Under the Old Covenant, the nation of Israel was commanded to remain separate from the surrounding nations, lest their worship and obedience to God be compromised.
  2. Under the New, Jesus’ prayed for His Father to sanctify (i.e., set apart) those that He had been given – a continuation of the Old Covenant theme. We are to be “in the world”, but not “of the world”. There seems to be a fine but hard line between these two conditions.

What are the “things on the earth” Paul refers to in his letter to the Colossian church? Are they limited to the previously mentioned world philosophies and religious legalism? What about the list of personal sins that follow?

Bringing this matter forward, what would the Holy Spirit lead Paul to say about our world? What new “things on the earth” has mankind created? Should we be concerned about the set of our minds in regard to sports, news, social media, online gaming, DIY YouTube videos, etc.?

Beware of the first answer that comes to you. It is likely your carnal mind trying to distract or otherwise deter you from considering the matter. It does that… regularly. Just tell it to shut up. Read the rest of this entry »

The desire of my heart is to help Christian Leaders find joyful, Spirit-filled ministry; and to be used by God in building houses that will stand in the storms of life (Matthew 7:24-25). I believe that is God’s purpose in this blog (I am just a pen).

Many times, the best way to disciple someone is to share a resource with them. It is cost and time efficient. Many times, others share the truth in ways that are beyond my gifting. This is one of those times.

So, in the hopes of your encouragement and edification, I offer to you a link to Ten Shekels and a Shirt (once the webpage opens, click the title, and then “open”, to start the audio).  You will notice that this sermon is from a website – sermonindex.net – that promotes genuine Biblical revival, by offering some of the best sermons of the past 100 years. I promise, you will enjoy this one immensely.

I suspect you will want to listen to others, after you have heard from Paris Reidhead. You can do that through their website and their podcast channel. Let me now if you need help setting that up.

I also hope and pray that you will pass this sermon on to those you are discipling.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

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 »

I was not surprised the day I became a part of my company’s reduction in force. The Lord had prepared me. I was expecting it. The surprise came when I finally realized that God wasn’t moving me on to something I thought was better. Among other things, I learned that His purpose for my life was not so much about me.

The nation of Israel was not surprised that the Messiah had come. They had been anticipating His arrival for hundreds of years. Their surprise was in the fact that it was not so much about them. God had a bigger plan.

One of the tragedies of a self-centered story is the loss of perspective. It is scary to think what I would have lost if God had settled for my plan; and it is sobering to recognize that I did not have a clue how much less I was fighting for Him to give me.

Much of the Western Church is in much the same danger; and we don’t have much more of a clue.

Suppose you had an employee that thought, believed and lived like your business was solely for his purposes, what would you do? Isn’t he right to think your business is for him? After all, you hired him, you are paying him a salary, and you are providing him with benefits. It’s about him; right?

Of course it’s not! Every wise business owner would fire such an employee (short of that employee having a significant attitude adjustment).

What if your employees thought you and your company should be subject to the interests of the community; that you should give your products away, regardless of the affect it has on your bottom line? Well, that would be socialism; and a strong sign that something has gone drastically wrong!!

Last set of questions: Does a good and wise business owner (or king) allow the story of his business (or kingdom) to be primarily about any other individual or group? Is it wrong for him to insist that the kingdom be centered on him and his purposes?

It’s not that we are lacking for clues. Jesus spoke often of the dangers: the rich young ruler, the prodigal son and the wicked, lazy servant, to name just a few. All were looking at the story from a self-centered perspective.

It is ironic that the most obvious thing can be the very thing we get wrong. So, let me ask you: Who is the Bible really about? Who is the writer, the producer and the director? Who is the main character?

Of course, you will say, the story is about God. It is about what He wants and what He is doing. I cannot imagine any Christian would disagree. Certainly, no one would say, “The story is about me.” Right?

But is that not the way we live our lives, here in the Western Church?

Click here for more.

Mountain Climbers_1The quality of our expectations determines the quality of our action.  A. Godin

Expectations are a reality of life; and everyone wants to know what is expected of them.

As children, we grow up with a deep-seeded desire to know the expectations of our parents; and to meet them. Parents, in turn, desire to know what is expected of them for their children to grow up physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy.

Employees want to know what is expected of them, to give structure to their daily work, and as a guide for future promotion and pay increase. To afford those pay increases, employers want to know what the client expects from the product or service they provide.

Granted, there are those who act as if they want nothing be expected of them. They are deceived in thinking this is possible. Expectations are a reality of life.

And everyone wants to know what is expected of them.

Society has a way of communicating expectations. Customers buy the products and services that meet their expectations. Employers establish standards and operating procedures for their employees. Good parents set the ground rules for their children; and – this is important – help their children understand and operate within the expectations of society.

Expectations are a reality of life; and they are good for us. Knowing them is critical.

It is, therefore, ironic that the human race has an ongoing battle with expectations. There is something about us that causes a discomfort with them. It’s like we want something else, but we don’t know what that something else is.

We need expectations, but we don’t want them – at least not the expectations that someone else would put on us. We prefer to find, or create, our own expectations.

We convince ourselves that what we want is something more; maybe something better. Attempting to put a positive spin on this condition, we use terms like “the human spirit” to describe our feigned desire for greater expectations.

This phrase – the human spirit – is not a bad description of our condition. In fact, it is the base condition of every human being. At its core is a desire to set our own expectations and have everyone else judge us by them.

The Bible calls it by another name: The spirit of rebellion.

Well now; at this point I feel the need to interject a warning and a request: This article is not headed where you are expecting. Please bear with me. Read the rest of this entry »

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