52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #6 – An Incredible Gift

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #16 – An Incredible Gift
Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #16 – An Incredible Gift
Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #16 – An Incredible Gift

In week 16 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks to God for an incredible gift.

If I mention the black, opening crawl of “Star Wars” you can see the logo and almost instantly hear the theme music, can’t you?

Iconic, right?

What if I told you I personally knew someone who played first chair in a section of the orchestra responsible for that original score?!

But, what if I told you that they conducted the score for that orchestra?

Or, what if I told you they wrote the score for that 100+ piece symphony orchestra?!

That would be amazing, right?

Well, my brother, Nehemiah Luckett, composed, orchestrated and directed music for “Ruby”, a production that I am confident will find it’s way to Broadway.

My mother and I drove 26 hours round trip to see it.

It was worth every second.

The story, the writing, the acting, the choreography, the music, and the vocals were stellar.

I hesitate to say pitch-perfect for fear of sounding like I’m overstating the case because he’s my brother, but it was just that good.

No. It was better than good.

It was excellent.

As it unfolded, I forgot I was watching a play and it challenged me in ways that good art tends to do.

As I attempted to comprehend all the moving pieces, to think that my brother wrote melodies and words that so beautifully conveyed such hard truths, music not for one instrument but an entire band, vocals not for just one singer but dozens, and helped to orchestrate a production that constantly teetered on making me want to avert my eyes and never being able to look away,

I was left in awe

because my brother is a maestro,

but more so, because he invited me to see his incredible gift and so graciously chose to share it with me.

I’m grateful.

I love you Nehemiah Luckett and I’m very proud of you, always have been.

#52WoG

If you’re interested in learning more about Nehemiah’s wonderful work or supporting it, you can do that here: https://bit.ly/nehemiah-patreon

Convinced But Not Converted: The Type Of Ministry That Results In Faith That Is Doomed To Fail

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Convinced But Not Converted: The Type Of Ministry That Results In Faith That Is Doomed To Fail

I remember one day my mentor and pastor, Dr. Gregory Jones was confronted with a young man looking to argue how God and religion were fantasy.

Pastor Jones answered him not one word.

I was perplexed by this. I was like isn’t this an opportunity to “convert” him? I wanted the smoke. I wanted to flex our apologetics muscle and intellectually spar with him.

I was so naive and misguided.

Even though I was preaching and studying under Pastor Jones at the time, even I wasn’t yet converted.

Because had I been, I would have known that faith comes from a life-altering moment of hearing God and believing Him. Period.

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

An elder brother once told me, “some lessons are taught and some others can only be caught.”

After having been converted, and having preached, and having argued for twenty plus years now

I better understand that if you can be convinced, you can be unconvinced.

The reason so many young people leave our churches, go to college and lose their religion is not because of education as so many claim, but is often because their faith was cultural or they were convinced but not converted.

No one comes to God by intellectual ascent or cultural association.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
— John 1:12-13

There is only one Way: God expresses Himself, we hear Him, we believe Him and then we are saved from separation from Him.

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

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”
— John 14:6

So then, my concentration, is having His heart, using His voice and speaking His Word.

“But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
— John 10:26-27

Since having “caught” this, I’ve never tried to convince anyone again.

I just aim to preach and live Christ.

I am now blown away by what I didn’t see before like how Jesus drops this bomb in Luke 16:19-31.

Here, Jesus casually reveals earth-shattering truths that are key to unlocking saving faith and ministry

1. everything that is necessary to birth faith and bridge the great gulf of separation between us and God is in the Word

2. if after having shared the full counsel of God that is expressed and made clear in Jesus Christ, someone does not believe, they would have never believed and their is nothing: no argument, no miracle, no sign, not even if “one rise from the dead” that would convince them.

“But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
— Luke 16:31

“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;

who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high”
— Hebrews 1:1-3

Just focus on living and preaching Christ who reconciles us to God.

That is the one and only ministry.

Thank you Pastor Jones. I love you and I miss you.

Not Until I Grow Up

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Not Until I Grow Up

Not Until I Grow Up

Frankly, Christians shouldn’t be saying anything (or doing anything) until we’ve first learned how to love, because

“Let all that you do be done with love.”
— 1 Corinthians 16:14

Because “love” is how the children of God talk.

“but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ”
— Ephesians 4:15

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
— Ephesians 4:29

Until we learn how to love each other within the family of God, we should not be doing or saying anything because that means Christ is not yet formed in us.

What is your position on “x”?
What is your position on “y”?

We should just shut up. We should not do anything besides imitating the pattern of Christ until we learn to walk as He walked.

Love should be our preoccupation.

Jesus came to make the Father known so that we can be with Him for the purpose of the greater glory of God.

His goal should be ours and He said,

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
— John 13:35

We fulfill our ministry, we make God known, not by our position on the issues but

HOW. WE. LOVE. ONE. ANOTHER.

How did it get more complicated than that? Who bewitched you?

Repent! And return to the simplicity of Christ.

Love.

Love is the beginning and end of maturity.

#perfectourlove

New Driver Rental Car Agreement

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - New Driver Rental Car Agreement

It seems like a lot of my friends’ kids are getting their drivers licenses. (We old! 🤣)

Before our boys got car keys, they signed an agreement spelling out our expectations and that driving is a privilege and not a right -a privilege maintained by trust that is earned.

We were delighted by how well they handled this enormous responsibility when expectations were clearly set. So, I’m sharing our family’s “New Driver Rental Car Agreement” in hopes that it’s helpful to other families for putting their new drivers in a position to succeed.

Drive safely, my new friends on the road!

Download the New Driver Rental Car Agreement here: https://bit.ly/new-driver-rental-agreement

Are Our Politics Spotting Us With The World?

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Are Our Politics Spotting Us With The World?

How does today’s message of the Church or the conversations of Christians differ at all with the preoccupations of the world; the desire to obtain and maintain power, to amass and defend their possessions, or to protect their place and nation?

What does any of this have to do with following Jesus? What does any of this have to do with what He came to do: to redeem creation, to save us from separation with God, to bring us who were far off near to the Father, to love such that God would be known and glorified?

How do we not see what is so plain?

Are we not spotted with the world?

Repent! And, let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”
— Matthew 6:31-33

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this:

to visit orphans and widows in their trouble,

and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
— James 1:27

“No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
— 2 Timothy 2:4

“[those] who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”
— 1 Timothy 6:5

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”
— 1 Peter 4:17

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.

Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.

Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
— Revelation 3:1-6

The Key To Faithfulness: Keep Moving

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - The Key To Faithfulness: Keep It Moving

“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”
— 1 Corinthians 4:2

My toxic trait is wanting to feel motivated before moving -wanting to feel like doing something before I do it.

I need more discipline and faithfulness in my life.

Everyday, I need to:

Keep conducting business. (Luke 2:49, Luke 19:13, Proverbs 31:10-31)

Keep my hand to the plow. (John 4:34-38, Luke 9:62)

Keep giving God motion He can manifest Himself through. (Romans 12:1, James 1:22-27, 2:14-26, Philippians 2:13, 3:7-12)

Keep conducting business.

“Do business till I come.” — Luke 19:13

This is seeing to ALL the things that are necessary to support operations, including the unglamorous parts like accounting.

“He [Jesus] has done all things well.” — Mark 7:37

For a practical example, look to the Proverbs 31 woman (Proverbs 31:10-31).

Keep my hand to the plow.

“But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.'” — Luke 9:62

This is not just being busy, it’s being about His business exclusively.

A plow, in this context, is for preparing a field to produce. People are the field. Cultivating fruitful people —bearing much fruit to God is the business that we’re in and the outcome we should be driving every day.

Keep giving God motion He can manifest Himself through.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” — James 2:26

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.” — Psalm 37:23

This is movement, and moving in a manner consistent with His commandments.

“This is love, that we walk according to His commandments.” — 2 John 1:6

For a practical example, look to Jesus.

Having our steps ordered by the Lord requires steps.

Keep moving.

Would You Rather: Life With God Or Control And Certainty

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Would I Rather: Life With God Or Control And Certainty

Would I rather,

Be uncertain about what I’ll eat, drink, wear or even what I’ll be doing from moment to moment,

but have God?

-OR-

Have so much money that I am certain about the provision of my every material need and desire,

but be without God?

This question is repeatedly posed in the Bible in some form, I believe, because it is a question that we are repeatedly confronted with in our daily lives. Could it be THE question of this life? This question reveals so much about our perceptions (e.g. what is good, truth) and our priorities (e.g. what we really want).

If I be honest, I’ve pursued things so that I wouldn’t have to trust God anymore. And, I’ve gone in circles (not getting anywhere) in some respects in my life because I hadn’t made up my mind about this question and hadn’t made a decision about which master I would serve.

Yes, the question is purposefully asked in a binary choice format to pose a clear dilemma, but is it necessarily a false dichotomy?

Consider this:

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
— 1 John 2:15

“Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'”
— Matthew 19:21-24

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
— Luke 16:13

I’m living in Psalm 73 right now,

“A Psalm of Asaph.

Truly God is good to Israel,
To such as are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;

My steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For there are no pangs in their death,
But their strength is firm.

They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like other men.

Therefore pride serves as their necklace;
Violence covers them like a garment.

Their eyes bulge with abundance;
They have more than heart could wish.

They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression;
They speak loftily.

They set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue walks through the earth.

Therefore his people return here,
And waters of a full cup are drained by them.

And they say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge in the Most High?”

Behold, these are the ungodly,
Who are always at ease;
They increase in riches.

Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,
And washed my hands in innocence.

For all day long I have been plagued,
And chastened every morning.

If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’
Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.

When I thought how to understand this,
It was too painful for me— Until I went into the sanctuary of God;

Then I understood their end.

Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!

They are utterly consumed with terrors.
As a dream when one awakes,
So, Lord, when You awake,
You shall despise their image.

Thus my heart was grieved,
And I was vexed in my mind.
I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.

Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.

My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.

But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.”
— Psalm 73

I find it interesting that this Psalm begins with God is good to such that are “pure in heart” and the parallel to Matthew 5:8,
“Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.”

A dear brother, Tim Boden, once shared that “pure in heart” is about singularness of mind, undivided affections.

It brings to mind a verse God has burned on my heart for the past two years,

“Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?”
— Luke 16:11

I believe the “true riches” is God, true knowledge of Him that affords us the enjoyment of the things of God, including fellowship with those who belong to Him.

It brings to mind John 2:23-25,

“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.

But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men,

and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.”
— John 2:23-25

Could it be that I have not yet laid hold off the true riches because I still have harlotry in my heart, lusting for anything besides Him making it improper for Him to commit Himself to me?

The question before me is, “Would You Rather Have Life With God Or Control And Certainty?”

“Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.”
— Psalm 73:25

This is where I want to be. Help me, Lord Jesus.

Success

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Success Is Contribution Not Conceit

If I can be honest, I struggle mightily with this.

I struggle with the constant pressure of the world’s repeated assertion that success means being out in front, on display, exalted above others, and if you’re not, you’re a failure.

The constant temptation is to seek that, to make it my ambition and orient my life around what puts me out in front; hustle, grind, concentrate on achieving the thing or making the money to buy the things that makes me better than others, thereby proving that I am a success.

But, in God’s creation, success is the health of the whole that we’re connected to, where we’re one member of many, contributing to the whole as the whole contributes to the members. It’s literally what we’re built for: connection, community, and contributing toward its betterment which is one and the same as self-care. We know this. We can feel it. It’s what we find most fulfilling.

Yet, I find myself desiring the allure of being the dead flower in the vase. It is singled out and put beautifully on display.

And my flesh foolishly yearns, “Ooh, pick me! Pick me!” I want to be exalted. I want to be praised. I want to be sought after. Not realizing that it neither grows others nor is being grown and was dead the moment it was separated.

Do not be deceived. Satan’s specialty is creating beautiful dead things.

Those of The Way know to be cut off is a death sentence. Oneness is our pursuit.

“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.”
— Mark 12:29

And, whatever comes our way as an individual, including honor, we use for the benefit and uplift of the whole (One).

“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

[…] But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”
— 1 Corinthians 12:12, 24-26

So, each day I wake or every time I fell pressure to conform to the world’s measure of success, I will set out with intention to resist the world’s way and to seek contribution as a definition of success instead of conceit, success being evidenced by fruit in others.

#success #ContributionOverConceit #thriveday

My New Daily Prayer

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - My New Daily Prayer

Father,
I love and revere You.

What is Your will today?
Who is the assignment?

Please show me how You would have me:

Go,
Share the good news,
Seek and restore the lost,
Make God real through Your love,
Tear down lies blocking Your love,
Share Your love and,
Be One

with Your children
that Your will may be done,
that Your Kingdom would come
today.

In the authority granted to me by Your Son and Christ, my beloved Elder Brother, my Master and King, for the purposes for which He has commanded me, I ask these things, requesting the resources, wisdom and power by Your Spirit to perform them

All for Your glory.

Amen.

Walking As He Walked: 7 Practical Things The Spirit Leads Us To Do In Following Christ

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Walking As He Walked: 7 Practical Things The Spirit Leads Us To Do In Following Christ

I believe Jesus, now what?

We walk as He walked¹.

Jesus’ goal is my goal²:

the glory of God,

to make Him known -the beginning and end of everything good.

When we present ourselves and allow Him, God achieves this through His Holy Spirit in us³ by leading us to

go⁴,

proclaim the good news⁵, declaring forgiveness of sins, peace with God and freedom from oppression,

seek and restore⁶, issue the call, speaking with His voice and the heart of the Good Shepherd, going to the ends of the world, losing not one soul⁷,

make God real⁸ through His love,

destroy the works of the devil⁹ —tearing down the lies that block His love

that people may know and believe the love of the Father¹⁰,

share in that love¹¹, enjoying the eternal life He gives abundantly —loving God and others as we are so greatly loved,

and be One¹²,

to the ultimate end of glory —weight; weight that draws everything into His redemptive orbit¹³,

these things He did for our glory,

because our glory is His,

achieving ever increasing glory to God¹⁴ —the beginning and end of everything good¹⁵.

References:
¹ 1 John 2:6
² John 20:21, 2 Timothy 1:8-9
³ John 16:13, Philippians 2:13, Romans 12:1
⁴ Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 10:7, John 6:38, Matthew 28:18-20
⁵ Luke 2:14, Luke 4:18, Ephesians 1:7
⁶ Luke 19:10, Matthew 9:13, Psalm 42:7, John 10:27
⁷ John 10:11, Matthew 18:11-12, John 6:39
⁸ John 14:9, John 1:14
⁹ 1 John 3:8, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
¹⁰ John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:16
¹¹ 1 John 4:11, 1 John 3:14, John 10:10, John 17:3, John 17:26
¹² John 17:23, Ephesians 4:3-6
¹³ John 12:28, John 12:32, Colossians 1:19-20
¹⁴ Matthew 5:16, Romans 8:18-21, 2 Corinthians 4:15
¹⁵ James 1:17, 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, Revelation 21:3-7, Revelation 21:23, Revelation 22:5, Isaiah 11:1-9