We Have The Wrong Idea About God

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com We Have The Wrong Idea About God

We have the wrong idea about God.
Christ was given to correct that.

Judging God by His Old Testament work is like judging a person with bloody hands standing over a gruesome, half-dead body, without the context that they’re the doctor saving their loved one’s life from terminal cancer.

The body is creation and we are the members conscripted by cancer, ravaging it. The treatment of cutting away flesh and blasting areas of infection with radiation, while brutal, is not only understandable, it’s good -done with the purpose to save life.

But, that the Great Physician would invest any time saving cancerous cells; setting some apart and doing millennia of delicate, painstaking surgery to give destructive cells a new Stem so that they would have new life and function properly is astonishing, especially given His ability to utterly wipe out the cancer and start completely over.

But His heart toward mankind was not to utterly destroy us, but to love us and make us whole by being with us. He’s done all that He’s done to the end of this His original purpose, including the vital and righteous work depicted in the Old Testament. But, we shouldn’t stop there. He wasn’t done. It’s not the complete picture. God’s heart is revealed by the completion of His work –His wonderful, glorious, incomprehensible work completed in Jesus Christ.

If I want to have the right idea about God, look to Christ:

Christ in Creation.
Christ in Redemption.
Christ in Recreation.

Who God is becomes more clear when I understand Christ was always the plan.

And, the right idea about God changes everything. #Gospel

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #12 – Martin Coleman

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com Thankful For Martin Coleman (Twitter)

In Week 12 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for Martin Coleman.

One Sunday after service, Marty Coleman walks up, “Hey Brother Paul. I understand you have a business that does computer work. There is someone I think you should meet.”

He then waves over a young man who seems tired and despondent. His approach toward us from across the room was slow and labored. He’s disheveled. His hair is matted to his head with gel. His clothes are wrinkled like he had just rolled out of bed with them on. His glasses are so hazed, perhaps from the gel in his hair, that I can barely see his eyes.

Though his approach seemed reluctant, when we started talking, he opened up easily enough. He’s a gamer. He knows his way around technology by having built custom and very sophisticated gaming computers. Brother Marty’s hope was that I would be able to give this young man a job.

This is not long after the Great Recession. One of my largest clients, representing twenty-five percent of my business’s income, was a casualty of the economic downturn. I lost them to closure and many of my remaining clients cut their retainers in half. I feel personally responsible for the people that I hire. Each time I extend employment, my heart and philosophy is to provide that person a home either until they are ready to move on or, preferably, until we’ve helped them to advance in their career. I try not to hire anyone unless I feel there’s a good chance that I can provide that.

But, with the cuts, I couldn’t sustain the staff I had and was scrambling to find safe places for each of my employees to land. By the grace of God, opportunities -even better than they had with me opened up for every one of them. I was so thankful and relieved. Anyone that employs people knows that it is no small undertaking; taxes, withholding, reporting -just maintaining the revenue to make payroll is a tremendous burden. After having miracuously averted the near disaster of having to lay staff off, leaving people who are dear to me without means to provide for their families, I was perfectly content to go it alone for a while. I did not have any appetite for hiring anyone else and going through that again.

But, God.

My default position on the proposition of hiring anyone was flatly “no”. But, there was this nagging notion that this wasn’t just about hiring someone. I had a sense that this may be from God. But, I resisted it. It wasn’t anything I wanted to do. Business wasn’t great. I didn’t even know if I could really financially afford another a person but that nagging notion would not relent. I shared it with my wife who said, “If you believe this is something God is leading you to do baby, you need to be open and to trust Him.”

So, I begin to move in the direction I believed God may be leading. I start making calls. I learn that the young man is in recovery from a drug and alcohol addiction, has not long gotten out of prison and is staying with another brother from our fellowship. But, I find myself with a compassion I cannot explain and am moved to keep going. I call the brother that the young man is staying with as a character reference. He candidly and honestly reports, “He’s unreliable, he’s sleeps all day, he’s still drinking and he’s been lying about it.”

The Holy Spirit was like, “I’ll take him.”

I hired the young man that day and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

God provided and we worked together for years. We did more than work beside each other every day, we shared life. We laughed together -a lot. We studied the Bible together. We battled our demons together. We prayed together. We shared our dreams together. What was dear to him became dear to me and the other way around. To this day I can still feel his intense love for his family, especially his son. From that day it became my heart, to the extent that they will allow me, to treat his family as my own. He did the same for me.

Anyone that knows Melissa and I can attest that we are very particular about who keeps our children. They are a treasure to us. It would not be an exaggeration to say that we’d be reluctant to entrust even the Secret Service with our kids. As a result, we didn’t get out much. Observing that, this young man insisted that Melissa and I have a night to ourselves and volunteered to keep our boys. Having watched this young man grow over the years, we humbly accepted without hesitation or concern.

By the grace of God, the young man that had an addiction was transformed into one of the most diligent, devoted and trustworthy people I’ve ever known. He was among those that I can count on one hand that Melissa and I considered leaving our estate to and making responsible for the care of our children should we both die unexpectedly. He is a true and dearly beloved brother.

He would often gush about the difference I made in his life, not realizing the heavenly shift that God used him to make in mine. I have been continually praying to God to teach me to love the way He loves. God answered my prayer and taught me to love by sending me someone to love .

Moreover, he showed me other believers who did not just love in word but also in deed. They truly behaved as people of one heart and one soul, who had all things in common (Acts 2:44, 4:32). They opened their homes, they opened their hearts and treated this young man’s burdens as if they were their own. Their labor yielded a harvest of new life not only in him, but also in me, revealing to me the authentic Church in power and glory. Thank you Brother Marty for this life changing introduction. I’m eternally grateful. #52WoG

The Deceitfulness Of Riches

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com The Deceitfulness Of Riches

For weeks, I’ve intended to:
visit a loved one,
sit with a dear brother,
put in quality family time,
write that note,
make that call,
share that word.

Why haven’t I?

Because I’m occupied with what I have to do to make the money to keep what I’ve got.

And, I’m preoccupied with what I have to do to get more.

“what I have to do…”

I’ve been in bondage.

The world says I can attain the good life if I somehow manage to get the right combination of things. But, Jesus teaches that the things that make for my peace are in knowing the Father and following Him, forsaking all else.

I know the truth, but at some point I again embraced the lie.

This deception offered me fool’s gold, robbing me of what matters most: precious time loving people who are dear to me and dear to God, in exchange for the worthless: a nirvana I might experience some day if I manage to get and do all the right things. (Spoiler alert: It’s a lie. Fulfillment never happens this way.)

Working for more stuff and living more life are in opposite directions. And, I’ve been going the wrong way!

My focus should not be on how to keep what I have or how to get more. My heart should be set upon attending to my Father’s house rather than seeking my own interests and pleasure. When I have the same heart as the Father (as demonstrated by Jesus, His only begotten Son), then my pleasure comes from seeing His house provided for and prospering.

So, I pray “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit with in me!”.

I’m on a journey now
to lay aside that which ensares me,
to divest myself of what weighs me down,
to sell what I have to share with those who lack,
to live with less so I have more to give:
to follow Jesus.

I repent.

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #9 – Encouragement From A Sister

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com Thankful For Encouragement From A Sister

In Week 9 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for encouragement from a dear sister, Carrie McCarty Copeland.

For a while, I’ve been sad and discouraged –suffering silently. And, then my wife shares a message that was just sent to her by Carrie Copeland,

“Good morning, I’m praying for you and Paul today!! Whatever you two are facing God is in the midst…”

What extraordinary timing and how remarkably on the mark! I know I am not alone but it made all the difference for someone to take the time to make the truth real. Thank you sister, Carrie. This is church. I’m grateful #52WoG

It’s All Good

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been frustrated with a person or a situation, only to find that it was the very means God was using to meet my need or to do a work in someone’s life.

It reminds me that we have a loving Father who is always doing a good work (John 5:17) and there is nothing that happens in my life that He can’t use for good when I trust Him with it (Romans 8:28).

By faith I have this confidence, that some way, some how, it’s all good when I live for Him (2 Timothy 1:12).

Standing on this truth is how we can do 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, [and] in everything give thanks.”

The verse follows, “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

My attitude should reflect that.

I repent. #perfectourlove

An Unworldly Kingdom

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com An Unworldly Kingdom
What
kind of kingdom is this where the King kneels before His subjects and serves them? (John 13:1-17)
 
Its implications are staggering, among which is this:
 
No one in His kingdom is without care, honor or substance because our status in this kingdom does not come from how much you’ve got but how much you give.
 
That’s a kingdom I’d gladly give everything to.
 
That’s a kingdom I’d gladly die for.
 
It’s vastly superior to every human attempt at government.
 
Our marriages, our homes and the church should be a glorious demonstration of it.
 
Imagine the effect if everywhere that we have authority or influence were a demonstration of His kingdom. Glory! This is what I’m pressing into. We fall woefully short as believers but there is grace and power to fulfill our ministry.
 
Repent, the kingdom of heaven is as hand.

Serving Effectively Through Rejection

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com Working Effectively Through Rejection

The area is devastated. You’re distributing life saving supplies as a volunteer of a charitable organization. During your deployment, you encounter people who don’t want help.
 
To be offended or to get angry with those who reject the help would suggest you’ve forgotten whose supplies they are and why you’re there in the first place.
 
The more appropriate and effective reaction would be to bear in mind that the resources are not ours and the work is not about us, it’s about saving lives.
 
Consider Jesus’ response when a village rejects Him and His disciples, being offended asked, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” The scripture says, “But He turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’ And they went to another village.” Luke 9:53-56
 
All of our service must flow from Love. We are serving because we were sent out of care for those we serve. If people’s well-being were our ultimate concern as it is for the One who sent us, we’d interact with people in such as way that even if they did reject our ministry, they’d be clear about where they can find help should they ever want it.
 
To be clear, help is not our little group or a church building, help is in Christ alone. We can work through opposition and rejection with patience and lovingkindness by remembering who’s work it is in the first place and sharing His heart.

What Is The Point?

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com What is the point?

As a believer, my purpose, as I currently see it, is to promote Oneness in God through Christ, with everything bound securely together by His unfailing Love -a bond stronger than any other in the universe. (Romans 8:38-39)

To this end, I, by the grace of God, labor first to be found squarely in Christ (Philippians 3:8-9) and then, with His Love, draw everything in my sphere to where He is (John 12:32), that, this being committed to collectively by the entire body spanning every generation, all of creation might be redeemed and reconciled to Him (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

To be clear, this is God’s work and what we do He does through us (Philippians 2:13). And even what we see about the goal, He showed us. So, it is 100% His grace, not our works, that any man should boast.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” -Ephesians 3:20-21


			

52 Weeks of Gratefulness #3 – Hard Truths Spoken In Love

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com 52 Weeks of Gratefulness #3 – Hard Truths Spoken In Love #52WoG

In Week 3 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for hard truths spoken in love.

I have been blessed to have great mentors and as you typically do with mentors, you ask how you could improve.

One night I was chauffeuring Dr. Gregory Jones home from a revival (as ministers under his instruction would usually do) and asked him, “Where do you see me struggling? Where do I need to grow?”

Pastor Jones answered flatly and without hesitation, “You struggle with pride.”

I took his words to heart, repented and set out to understand pride and make war with it ever since. It’s a lifelong struggle because you never completely defeat a demon like pride in this life, you only learn to become better at fighting it. Demons depart from you for a season but are always lurking, looking for an opportunity to return (Luke 4:13, Matthew 12:43-45, Luke 11:24-26). #spiritualwarfare

As I’ve searched, prayed and laid my life bare before the Lord (Hebrews 4:12) I’ve learned that because I struggle with insecurity, I have a tendency to build makeshift structures: false pedestals to exalt myself and protect me from the pain of feeling small, that allow me to pretend which is hypocrisy and to make myself more or less than I am which is pride.

In my youth these pedestals were possessions, promiscuity and popularity. Now, it is the appearance of righteousness, accomplishments, having everything together and having it all figured out.

But these false pedestals always fail me and when they splinter, not only do I end up pierced through with many sorrows, my witness is undermined, my Master’s name is dishonored and the faith of some looking on can be weakened.

Now, I’m scared of heights as hell. (Catch that on your way home.)

Or, should I say that, by God’s grace I am wiser to the enemy’s tactics and the conditions that can lead to a heart lifted in pride. I struggle every day and thanks be to God for the struggle because it reminds me of my desperate need for God and that His abundant grace is sufficient for me, that I may humble myself under his hand and trust Him to build me up (1 Peter 5:6).

I have come to this knowledge because I had a mentor and a father in the faith who loved me with a Love that held me accountable and did not withhold the truths that were hard for me to hear and that were necessary for my growth and sanctification (Ephesians 4:11-16). I’m grateful. #52WoG

From Father To Son: Gifts And Good Works

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com Father To Son: Gifts and Good Works

Ephesians 2:10
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Yesterday, I shared with you that God has given each of us gifts and a heart for a specific good work.

We are most satisfied and fulfilled when we’re doing what we’re made to do.

There are so many voices about who we should be and what we should do that it can get confusing. But, if I want to know what something is made for, it’s best to ask the one who made it.

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”

The Word shows us the way we should go.

It’s a journey of discovery as we learn more about our Creator and explore doing things we believe that are good and pleasing to Him.

Here are some questions that have helped me along my journey of finding the things that I’m made to do (I’m still learning everyday):

What problem(s) do you see that you have a burden to solve? Or, what do you think should exist or there should be more of that you have a burden to help create?

Right now, I am investing time into learning to become a better coder so that I can earn more to help more people. One of the things I want to do is to help the marginalized and underserved leverage technology to meet their financial needs and then build wealth (thrive).

Give some thought to those questions and let us know if there are any things you believe you have a heart to do.

We’d love to support to you on your journey of finding the good work you’re made to do.

We love you!