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

The Pain That Made Jesus Cry

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - The Pain That Made Jesus Cry

Jesus

Being falsely arrested¹:

Nothing.

Being mocked and beaten by men in the temple²:

Nothing.

Being brutally scourged by Pilate³:

Nothing.

Being mocked and beaten again by Roman soldiers who pressed a crown of thorns into the flesh of His brow⁴:

Nothing.

Being forced to drag the beam of His cross, weighing upwards of 175 lbs (79kg), for more than 650 yards (600m)⁵:

Nothing.

Being nailed to a cross⁶:

Nothing.

Isaiah spoke rightly of Him in Isaiah 53:7 that “He was as a lamb led to the slaughter,” “He was oppressed and He was afflicted yet He opened not His mouth”.

But.

When Jesus became sin⁷, resulting in His utter separation from God:

Then, He cried out,

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”⁸

Because absolute separation from God was hell.

Do not let evil men and false prophets deceive you.

HELL IS REAL.

It is utter separation from God.

I can attest to this to some degree, having known life far from God, remembering the deep dredges of emptiness, restlessness and being surrounded by people but utterly alone.

This is what Jesus saved me from.

This is what Jesus suffered to save us from: separation from God.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
— Ephesians 2:13

Now, having experienced eternal life in God, I am whole, full and overflowing. Whenever I feel any distance from Him, it is torment and I die a little.

God is my life, and there is nothing better than being with Him.

Now, all I want is to have Him more, which He gifts **today** through His Holy Spirit and sanctification, thereby increasing my capacity to share love: Him, with my growing family in Jesus Christ.

But one day, my joy will be made full: I shall see God. I shall see for myself and My eyes shall behold, and not another. Oh, how my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25-27)

I joyously look forward to that day where I will enjoy Him without limitation.

I do not preach to you fear of a hell with demons and horrors.

I preach salvation from a hell of being without God right now and from the prospect of such a horrible state for eternity.

We all currently live in an age of common grace: hope.

Hope that we can know God.

Hope that God provides.

He desires to be with us.
He desires that none should perish.
He is not far from any of us.

So close, yet so far away because without means to connect, God might as well be in a different universe.

But, God has provided the means. He has provided The Way and The Door in Jesus Christ.

Jesus went to great lengths to do His Father’s will: that we may be together with Him.

Hear Him.

Believe Him.

And, be saved from separation from God.

¹ Matthew 26:55
² Matthew 26:67-68
³ John 19:1
⁴ Mark 15:17-20
⁵ John 19:17
⁶ Luke 23:34
⁷ 2 Corinthians 5:21
⁸ Mark 15:34

Catfish Christians

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Catfish Christians

Just this week I was told I needed to stop being a coward because the children of God are not wimps.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
— 2 Timothy 1:7

He further admonished that no coward has any place in His kingdom.

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
— Revelation 21:7-8

I was instructed instead to be like the firstborn, Jesus, who was no coward.

“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
— Hebrews 12:2

He then began teaching me how to overcome my fear by being strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10).

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
— 1 John 4:18

The point: God does more than comfort and give gifts, He disciplines and corrects His children. Hebrews 12:6 says He **scourges** them. That’s unpleasant. It’s not puppies and rainbows. But, the result is glorious!

“For whom the LORD loves He chastens,

And scourges every son whom He receives.

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.”
— Hebrews 12:6-9

So then, I don’t want to be with Cultural Christians who are not Christians but reprobates, who comfort and justify themselves in their old, dead and unprofitable ways.

“They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”
— Titus 1:16

I want to be with true believers who are being CHANGED, transformed into the image of Christ by the power of the God.

Yes, God loves you as you are.
No, it is no ok to STAY as you are.

Everyone can come to Christ but no one gets to stay the same.

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
— Romans 8:29

I will be satisfied with nothing less than becoming like Jesus which is more than I can do alone but requires the whole body -the church eternal, to fully express His person.

“till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”
— Ephesians 4:13

Until we look like Jesus, we should be challenging ourselves and each other every day to press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

The Ministry Of Everything

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - The Ministry Of Everything

Every situation and circumstance is an opportunity to glorify God.

We give others and each other a real good look at Him from many countless, varied and obscure angles,

by manifesting His character, demonstrating His life in us through how we, by His grace, handle the many countless, varied and obscure circumstances of our lives.

In doing so, we give a fuller picture of Him.

But not only by how we reflect Him, but perhaps even more importantly, by admitting how, in any given circumstance, we have failed to,

by admitting how we have fallen short of the glory of God, by being honest about the unbridgeable gap by any natural means between where I am and His high calling, thereby declaring His excellence and glory: His goodness, His holiness, His righteousness, His justice, His love,

by confessing our sin so we can be healed and obtain the prize, striving to attain to the supernatural power of His resurrection, dying to sin: this world’s way of operating, and rising to life in Christ: the nature of the Father revealed and given to us through Jesus, the only begotten Son of God.

So, whether in life or death, success or failure, we can show people God, by His power and His faithfulness in which He works all things together for good.

Every circumstance and situation; good times, bad, plenty, lack, health, sickness, hardship, prosperity are all opportunities to manifest and glorify God, and to be co-laborers with Christ in the wonderful ministry of making God known.

“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.

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.”
— 2 Corinthians 3:18-4:1

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.

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.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So then death is working in us, but life in you.

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart.

Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.

For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
— 2 Corinthians 4:5-18

What’s In Your Hand?

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - What's In Your Hand? Questions That Help Me Refocus And Move Forward

“So the LORD said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ He said, ‘A rod.'”
— Exodus 4:2

“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.

But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.'”
— Exodus 14:15-16

I often lose focus looking at what’s happening around me.

As of late, I’ve felt inadequate, out of place and unwelcomed.

The Holy Spirit has given me these questions to recalibrate:

What’s in my hand? (What do I have that I can use?)

And, how can I use it to glorify God? (Exodus 4:2, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17)

To benefit the Body? (Romans 12:5-6, Ephesians 4:11-13, Galatians 6:10)

Or, to reconcile creation? (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

These questions in this order help me to re-center my focus and to get back to being what God created me to be:

Fruitful.

Before the problem existed, God provided everything I would need to move forward…

to His victory.

“as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue”,
— 2 Peter 1:3

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”
— 2 Corinthians 2:14-15