Jesus In The Midst

Paul Luckett | - Jesus In The Midst

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.””
—Matthew 18:20

Jesus made a promise with this condition:
If two are more gathered in My name, meaning for the purpose(s), and for the pleasure of His position / office / station (Messiah),

Then, we are granted His power.

And, He, Jesus, is in the midst.


1. I will seek out and connect with people who are operating according to His purpose(s).
2. And, I will expect Jesus.

He is there because He said He would be.

There, I will tune my heart to His presence, so that I may see Him, hear Him, feel Him and know Him.

To do that, I must not harden my heart by embracing this world, by accepting the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and instead become as a little child who knows nothing and look to my Father and learn of Him for everything.

“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
—James 4:4

We can’t have both. We must chose where we will ultimately put our trust. A double-minded man gets nothing.

I must distrust this world -that is, divest, take my trust out of the identities the world tries to give you, out of the things the world treasures, and out of the meaning or meaninglessness the world proclaims.

“let God be true but every man a liar”
—Romans 3:4

Instead, I must, invest, put my whole trust in Christ and trust Him to define my identity, to treasure what He treasures, and to trust that His purposes are true, will not fail and is what life is all about (meaning).

Then, I will be able to see Him more clearly.

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”
—1 Corinthians 13:12

On a related aside, in a Christian home with a husband and wife, those are two, so there should be three. Jesus should be in every such home.

Where two or more are gathered in His name, Jesus is there in the midst.

We can do more than “know about” God.
We can know God.
We can be sense, experience and be with God!

I can see Him if I want that more than anything. (Matthew 10:37-39)
#goals #KnowGod #KnowingGod

Seeing People Through Christ’s Eyes

Paul Luckett | - Seeing People Through Christ's Eyes

“I see whole people.”

With the heart and mind of Christ I should be able to better see people as they would be if they were in the Kingdom of God, apart from the corrupting influence of sin and their trauma from this world, and then deal with them with the patience, compassion, care and courage to love them where the Father would have them to be: whole in Him.

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”
—Matthew 9:36

‘Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”
—Matthew 9:35

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
—Matthew 9:37-38

So, when we encounter people, we should pray and ask, “Lord, show me who they would be in Your Kingdom” and, “Help me to bear the fruit of Your Spirit and grant me Your manifold grace to love them there.

Make me a laborer in the harvest of my Lord, Your Son, Jesus Christ and I ask this request in His name. Amen.”


The Life Giving Spirit Mindset

“And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’

The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”
—1 Corinthians 15:45

Being a life giving spirit -connecting people to the Source of life, rather than being just another character in a dead, empty and cannibalizing culture, that’s the mindset.

I get to give life.

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
—John 7:38

Giving life through making the Father known in word and deed, as revealed through Jesus Christ, is everything. It is life itself.


Dealing With Discontent And A Downcast Soul

Paul Luckett | - Dealing With Discontent And A Downcast Soul

I find that when I’m in a state of weariness, downcast or just in a general funk, not really motivated to do anything, it is usually because I’ve fallen into the world’s thinking.

I’ve taken up the world’s value system of competitive, comparative, relative worth which causes me to compare myself to others.

I’ve engaged in the world’s game where my value is derived from, and the objective is having more and being more than others.

It’s a grim, brutal, loveless way to operate that pierces you through with many sorrows.

It is the reality of this world, but God.

But, God makes it possible to operate in a way that completely defies the reality of this world and still THRIVE in it.

It looks more like a mighty, life giving tree planted by the waters than a nice car and a big house.

“He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”
—Psalms 1:3

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'”
—Luke 9:58

In God’s economy, a french fry cook, anyone, in their current position can lift up and give life to those around them.

To that person there is no higher pursuit than the Kingdom of God. That is the objective.

There is no greater joy than sharing it with others -inviting others out of the cruel world’s game into living safely in communion with brothers and sisters in Christ, bound by love in the unity of the Holy Spirit with the bond of peace. All the while, God supplies all of their NEEDS – not opulence (because that’s not our goal, after all these things the Gentiles seek -Matthew 6:32) (and, we obtain our needs through God’s means and mechanisms; the means being opportunity, the mechanism being the God ordained system to convert opportunity into provision: work).

So, I must lay aside the flesh, the thinking of this world that’s concerned about getting and what others have gotten.

I must walk again in the Spirit, putting on the mind of Christ where there’s great purpose and joy in giving what I’ve been given -life.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
—John 10:10

Note: This is one something non-believers cannot cherry pick as they often do with principles gleaned from Scripture. A plucked branch from a fruit tree in a vase of water is not going to produce fruit. We cannot give life apart from God. We’ll quickly burn out in our efforts.

I must abandon my desire for the things of the world, despite what others around me seek and have, and trust God that He will provide all my needs through His means and mechanisms.

The things that make for our peace are often counterintuitive. Very often the remedy to malaise isn’t about what I’m getting but what I’m giving.

In everything and in every interaction, I’m looking to pass life along, which in the process, gives life to me, making my Savior all the more real to me. Jesus Christ is the Vine. I am the branch. That’s exciting.

“And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
—Acts 20:35

I believe we are most content and experience the greatest joy doing what we were created to do: that is, according to our gifting, ministering life, which is our unique vantage of God, working in conjunction with fellow believers of different giftings, to edify the body and give others a fuller picture of the knowledge of God. In short, to make the Father known.

Let us use everything at our disposal in service to making the Father known and doing His will. That’s where we’ll find our joy.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
—Psalms 42:11

Clarifying questions that I will ask myself when confronted with the trigger of apathy and lethargy:

What do you want most right now, praise from men or God? (John 12:43)

What is your chief concern right now, the things of men or the things of God? (Matthew 16:23)

Do you trust the Good Shepherd to lead, guide and provide for your every need as His sheep and as He has promised? Or, am I not satisfied with His level of sustenance? (Psalm 23, John 10:7-10, Psalm 106:13-15, 1 Corinthians 10:6)

Are you being a faithful servant? Are you living in the joy of serving the Lord? Or, have you been seduced again into false comforts and deceitful pleasures of this world? (Luke 12:42-48, Luke 21:34)

How We Can Know God’s Voice

Paul Luckett | - How We Can Know God's Voice

Some while ago, I heard a new Jay-Z song, but it wasn’t by Jay-Z.

It was a song created by artificial intelligence (AI) that took the sound of Jay-Z’s voice and even his flow to rap words he never said on a song he had nothing to do with.

That got me thinking about how can anyone really know who they’re hearing?

Then I thought about my Mom.

I know my Mom’s voice better than I know any other. But, her “voice” is more than the form of the soundwave produced by her vocal cords. And, it’s more than her “flow” -the timing, pitch, volume or the natural patterns of her speech.

It’s also about content. There are things my mother would never say.

But it’s even much more than that.

I know it’s my Mom because I know my Mom’s spirit, her essence, who she is and what she’s about. These are the things that make up her “voice” and authenticate whether it is my Mom who’s really speaking.

The Word found in the Holy Scripture of the Bible is the “voice” of God.

God does not directly speak with vocal cords and soundwaves. He speaks directly to us by His Spirit that moves on the heart.

“knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
—2 Peter 1:20-21

We are awash in spiritual suggestion all the time, including messaging from the principalities and powers of this age, many of which pretend to be God.

“For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”
—2 Corinthians 11:14

God’s Spirit, His essence, who He is and what He’s about as revealed in Jesus Christ and to whom the Holy Scriptures attest, is the way we discern signal from noise, the way to know His voice from counterfeits.

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;”
—Hebrews 1:1-2

These are the things that make up God’s voice and authenticate whether we’re talking to our heavenly Father.

God is not an idea but an actual person who you can know and interact with now.

You can hear from God, not with material sound, but by His Spirit.

“For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”
—1 Corinthians 2:11

When I say or perceive that God is speaking to me, it’s like Someone blowing on an ember, the ember being the implanted Word of God.

He makes a theme, a thrust or a truth that can found in Scripture burn on our hearts.

Without the Word in our heart, the Spirit has little to blow on.

And, God is not going to say anything to you that contradicts what He has already said in His Word.

“And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.”
—1 Corinthians 14:32

The heart is our preceptory organ, where we sense: see, taste, feel and hear spiritual transmissions.

The Word is the sound of His voice. Jesus is the Word expressed in three dimensions, manifested materially in time and space.

Train your “ear”. Wash it in the Word. Read Scripture and open it through humbling yourself, looking to the real person of Christ and asking questions in pursuit of faith.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
—Romans 10:17

You can do more than know about God.

You can know God personally and talk with Him by knowing His voice.

#KnowGod #KnowingGod #Gospel

How We Can Know God

Paul Luckett | - How We Can See God

One of the greatest travesties of modern-day Christianity and the church is we stop just short of knowing God.

We’ve created centers of learning about God that we call church.

We talk a lot about what we “think” God is like.

We strain out gnats and swallow camels.

It’s academic and not personal.

But unless God is real, we’re merely like every other religion -just another philosophy.

But God is an actual person who can be known and with whom a real relationship can be had!

My prayer of late has been how to truly know and experience God, and usher others into that.

Then, I saw something I’d not really seen before -something that I may have understood conceptually in my head but that’s now burning on my heart.

Consider 2 Corinthians 4:6:

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
—2 Corinthians 4:6

Now, juxtapose that against Matthew 6:23:

“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
—Matthew 6:23

The Apostle Paul did not just say, “God commanded light to shine out of darkness” else we would think of this “light” in terms of what we can see visually, but he continued “WHO HAS SHONE IN OUR HEARTS to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

My God.

Now, compare that to Matthew 6:22-23,

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
—Matthew 6:22-23

Now, consider the immediately preceding pericope of Scripture in Matthew 6:19-21,

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your HEART will be also.”
—Matthew 6:19-21

Ok. What am I getting at?

Those who have been born again do not “see” with their iris and pupils but with their hearts.

When Paul writes, “[God] has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” it should be apparent that we cannot perceive wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation (light) with the organ that pumps blood (heart).

So by “heart”, Paul is referring to a spiritual organ -the core of our spiritual being, and by “light”, he is referring to the life giving power that comes from God.

What Paul is essentially saying is the heart is the eye. It is the sensory organ by which we have any sensitivity to the spiritual dimension and that gives us the ability to perceive God.

The Matthew passages makes a contrast between a good eye and a bad eye -a good eye filling the body with “light” (life) and a bad eye filling the body with great darkness (not life).

I would argue that the “good eye” is a spiritual heart made alive in the new birth by faith through grace. And, the “bad eye” is the natural perception obtained through bodily sensory organs, experience and earthly ideation, which leaves the heart dead, hard and stony with no capacity to sense, know or experience God.

I believe Jesus provides a test in Matthew 6:19-21 so that we can know which “eye” we have: WHAT WE TREASURE.

The bad eye treasures “treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” (e.g. things material and that are dependent of the material: money, possessions, status, etc.)

The good eye treasures “treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (e.g. spiritual things independent of material things: virtue, fruit of the spirit, Isaiah 58:5-8).

Because, what we treasure, as Matthew 6:21 concludes, “There your heart will be also.”

Everything God commands is good and for our good. So when Jesus says “whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” in Luke 14:33, He is not merely putting forward the price of discipleship, Jesus is giving us the prescription for nurturing a heart that can sense, know and experience God.

We can do more than “know about” God.
We can know God.
We can sense and experience God!

I want that more than anything.

And, our “heart” -the one that God gives, is our “eye” which gives us the ability to perceive, know and experience (be with) God.

Get that heart (humble yourself, repent, seek diligently for it).
And, guard it.

Thank You, God, Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ for answering my prayer. Not that I have attained, but that You lead me in the paths of righteousness that I may fully attain it, and, above all, that You are with me.

Thank You for teaching me to close my eyes and see through the eye of the heart You gave me so I can perceive, know and experience You.

#KnowGod #KnowingGod #gospel

I Will Trust And Run To You

Paul Luckett | - I Will Trust And Run To You

An incontrovertible truth is that we’re all trusting someone that largely determines the outcomes of our lives.

At the end of the day, life comes down to one question:

“Who am I going to trust?”

If I were a child, it would be my parents.

To enter the kingdom of God we must become as little children who trust God, their Father through Jesus, the one and only mediator, whom He sent.

“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.'”
—Matthew 18:2-3

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
—1 Timothy 2:5

When I feel,
When I think,
When I hunger,
When I wonder,
When I explore,
When I fear,
When I dare,
When I delight,
In all I do, I run to You, God my Father.

“in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”
—Acts 17:28

Happy Father’s Day

The Worst And The Least

Paul Luckett | - The Worst And The Least
Image Copyright Ben Turner | sunsetgreen on Flickr

How we treat those we perceive as the worst or the least reveals who we are at our actual best.

Let me put this practically, how we “Christians” treat members of the LGBTQ community, who many perceive as an enemy of Christian values, or the poor who we consider the least, is a reflection of who we are at our best.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;

for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?

Therefore you shall be perfect (by loving your enemies), just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
—Matthew 5:43-48

We have one job, the same job God has been doing since the beginning: to make Himself known.

This is the same job Jesus came to do, not to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved by making the Father known.

As the Father’s image bearers, everything we do says something about Him.

So, what are we saying about God with our attitude, approach and actions especially toward those with whom we differ sharply, namely regarding matters of identity and sexuality?

It is possible to stand on either side of this issue, liberal or conservative, and terribly misrepresent God.

Lies block love.

A perilous place to be is between God and what He loves.

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.”
—Matthew 18:6-8

Whatever we do, we must be careful not to lie on God. There are grave consequences.

Making known the truth of who He is the point of everything.

Here is what I know and what we should be saying:

“Dad is wonderful. He wants you home. He sent me to get you.”

God wants His kids.

It is not important how we perceive their state. What is important is, whatever they may be lacking, our Father will supply when they get home.

Our aim should just be to get them to the Father.

How we treat those we perceive as the worst or the least reveals who we are at our actual best. And that is determined by **whose** we are.

Are we behaving like children of the evil one, the father of lies whose sole objective is to obstruct a right view of God, in pursuit of our own will?

Or, are we reflecting our heavenly Father and looking like Jesus?

Communicating God’s character revealed in the face of Jesus Christ should be a Christian’s chief concern and a much greater consideration than “winning” the conflict.

What I choose at the heights of disagreement and from the depths of disrepute reveals who(se) I truly am.

I confess, I am not writing this from a position of having attained, or having it all figured out. I’m struggling as much as anyone and seeking God’s heart as we wrestle with the issues of our day.

I know one thing though. Jesus is saying,

“Dad is wonderful. He wants you home. He sent Me to get you.”

So, I should be communicating the same in all that I do.

“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”
—Matthew 12:30

Living Ever Ready

Paul Luckett | - Living Ever Ready

If, at any given time, the Lord Jesus comes and asks me what I’m doing and I cannot answer either:

1. Making the Father known,
2. Expressing His kingdom,
3. Delighting in Him and His kingdom, or
4. Resting in preparation to do the first three,

I have failed as a servant.

I am not engaged in my Lord’s business and have fallen prey to the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.

“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”
—Matthew 13:22

“And the Lord said, ‘Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?

Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.

But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few.

For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”
—Luke 12:42-48

Everything I do should be in service to making the Father known and doing His will (expressing His kingdom, “let Your kingdom come”).

From who I marry, what job I take, where I live to what I eat and what I choose to do when I happen to wake up in the middle of the night, all of it should be done in service to the Lord.

“He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.

He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.

For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.

Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”
—Romans 14:6-8

Stop living your life. It’s His life now, if you belong to Him.

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
—1 Corinthians 6:19-20

If I truly belong to Him and have been born again, I should want to, it should please me to live for Him rather than for myself. That desire is a witness of our salvation.

“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ”
—Philippians 3:8

Notwithstanding, we live a world that entices us and it is easy to be lured back into dead and worthless things if we are not vigilant and mindful of the things of Christ.

Our duty as fellow servants is to be about our Lord’s business which includes helping and encouraging each other to be ready, so we can rejoice together at His coming.

Get back to His business: making the Father known and expressing His kingdom.

Stay ready.

What Only Jesus Can Offer

Paul Luckett | - What Only Jesus Can Offer

Jesus offers what no one else offers: to know God.

Whereas others talked *about* God, Jesus wanted us to *know* God.

“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”
—Matthew 6:9

Whereas others taught theology and discussed God academically, Jesus spoke with authority from a place of personally knowing God.

“Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.”
—John 8:55

Jesus spoke from experience. He is intimately familiar with God’s goodness, His love and His power. He’s been with God as He rules perfectly in wisdom, justice and righteousness.

This is why Jesus talked the way He did saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like…”

The gospel, the good news of Jesus is that we can know God and we can be with Him TODAY.

“The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Because the King has come.

God is not an idea. He is a person that can be known by those whom He chooses to reveal Himself to.

The good news is that He has chosen to reveal Himself to the world through Jesus Christ.

Jesus alone can move us from an intellectual idea about God, to a real relationship with God both here and now, and in ways we cannot imagine in the life to come.

Believe Jesus and know God and be with God, now. #gospel

“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.

“Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
—John 14:21-23