Not What, Who

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com Not What Who

The are many paths.

Only Christ leads to God.

I do not say this to assert the superiority of a religion, namely Christianity. Most who identify as Christians don’t have a clue about who Christ is. -Matthew 7:14, 21-23

The only ones who see Christ are those to whom God chooses to reveal Him. -Matthew 16:17

We can not see Him on our own. That’s humbling and it’s meant to be.

Because, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” -James 4:6

Our chief problem is we’ve been deceived to believe that we don’t need God. The enemy has blinded us through seeming material sufficiency, fake cultural harmony and outward civility while inwardly hating one another. We have a façade of peace and prosperity while our families are being ravished with war and destruction at every hand.

We appear well but are dying on the inside –whitewashed tombs.

However, if like me, you have been granted to see your brokenness, you know you are destitute and your spirit yearns for something you don’t know what to ask for (Matthew 5) and you are drawn to Jesus –not His followers, not institutions in His name, but you are drawn to the person of Jesus revealed through Holy Scripture by His Holy Spirit, you are being saved!

Therefore, cry out as the blind who desperately wants to receive sight. -Matthew 20:31
Search for Him as those who know they are dying and want to live! -Mark 5:25

Come to Christ believing He alone is the Way to God where every good and perfect thing is. -John 6:68

Revival is in three words: not what, Who.

It’s not about all the things we could or should do to improve our lives.

It’s about knowing Who life is. -John 14:6

Believe Christ and live.

#notwhatwho

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

Fine Without God

Only Light In The Darkness

 

I reject God believing “I am fine without God”. At the heart of that thinking is a belief that the light I’m walking in is my own.
 
Whatever your proximity to God, all light you enjoy -any semblance of love, justice or truth comes from Him. These are not concepts of human invention or products of our effort. They are characteristics of God that emanate from Him and shine through His vessels.
 
But there is coming a terrible day, after God’s offer of Himself and plea to choose life has gone out to every creature under heaven, that God will withdraw Himself completely from those who reject Him,
 
“For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.” Isaiah 13:10, Mark 13:24
 
God will allow them their desire -utter darkness because “they loved darkness rather than light” John 3:19. In His withdrawal, He will also take His people. Not one who bares His Light will remain. Mankind will be completely left to languish in their own corruption and cruelty, being devoid of understanding, with no hope of any good. There will be no love, truth, justice nor anything of the sort -no light.
 
This is why Jesus proclaims, “I must work while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” John 9:4
 
I remember my ignorance of the harm I was doing and how I was being harmed, until finally I was forced to acknowledge my sin because it was piled up to heaven and I was being crushed under the weight of it. I was not fine without God. And, neither are you.
 
Be not deceived, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17
 
I am so thankful that while I was in darkness, hope remained for me and there shone a great light. Isaiah 9:2, Matthew 4:16
 
And, there remains hope for you! The love of God compels me, “Believe Jesus, be freed from darkness and receive the Light of the world!” John 8:12
 
How can you test what I’m saying? How can you know it is true? The closer you walk with God through faith in Christ, the greater your light will shine.

What The Storm Taught Me About Jesus

Stormy Sea

“Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

These words of Jesus recorded in Mark 4:40 always perplexed me. What do you mean, “Why am I so fearful?!” We’re in the middle of a deadly storm! (Mark 4:37) Don’t you feel the ship being tossed violently about? Don’t you see that the ship is filling with water and that we’re about to sink?! What does faith have to do with anything? This is not a matter of attitude or perspective. This threat is not spiritual. The danger is real! So, what do you mean, “Why am I so fearful?!”

The questions seemed absurd. That is, until I had to face a storm of my own.

Like the storm in Mark 4:37, mine came upon me suddenly, unexpectedly and violently. In one great swell the waters crashed on my life, threatening to tear everything apart. After barely surviving its impact, I was then hammered with wave, after wave, after wave. I lived in constant fear of the blow that would finally end it all. This went on for years.

But, Jesus was in the boat the whole time.

I was so focused on the storm, I lost sight of who He was. And, I didn’t realize the effect that Jesus was having just being there. While He seemed to me to be “sleeping”, He was the reason I had not perished. It was His presence, and not all the things I was clinging to, that was preserving me and providing for my need. What I see now, that I didn’t see then, is that He had angels encamped all around us -real people, who ministered to my real needs. As I reflect on those years, I clearly see people God sent that provided precisely what I needed both spiritually and materially in their due seasons. Why? Not because of what I had done, but because of who I was with. I was with Jesus –Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God who was sent according to the love of God for this very purpose: that those who believe in Him would not perish but have life everlasting.

That last part –Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God.

This view of Jesus as God incarnate is what I believed or at least conceptually understood at some point, but lost sight of. And this is why, I believe, that Jesus asks, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Because, if I am with Christ in the boat, do I really believe the Christ will perish? Do I really believe that He will fail to do what He came to do? Do I really believe that any promise made concerning Him will go unfulfilled? Oh Father, grant me the faith of Abraham who believed so steadfastly on your Promise because he believed God to be so faithful that He’d never go back on His word and believed God to be so powerful, that He could raise the son of Promise from the dead. (Genesis 22:1-14; Hebrews 11:19) Lord, help me to see You and to allow the reality of who You are to loom larger than the reality that I’m wrestling with!

When I believe Jesus, my hope and expectation is in the furtherance of His purposes: reconciling creation to Himself and the full coming of His kingdom. This, by faith, becomes the desire of my heart that I can be fully assured that God will give to me. (Psalm 37:4) Furthermore, if He can command even the storm, I can have confidence that nothing concerning me is beyond His control. If I live, He is in control. He has work for me and as I walk in it, no storm, no circumstance, no power in Hell -nothing can prevent it. If I die, He is in control. I can depart knowing that He is faithful to finish the work He began and that nothing that I have committed to Him will be in vain. So, whether in life or death, He is in control, His purposes will prevail, He will be glorified and my desire in Him will not fail.

As I look back from the other side of the storm, I see that the whole time I spent being anxious, frantically flailing about, I could have been resting confidently with Jesus.

The Most Important Word

Brainflurry.com | Sin - The Most Important Word

What word in the Bible do I believe is the most important, even more so than justice, love, truth and even faith?

Sin.

Sin means to miss the mark, to offend. It indicates that there is someone that set the mark. Which further indicates there is someone who claims to have the authority to set the mark.

On what basis can one claim such authority? The very word “authority” suggest the answer: authorship.

Sin demands a Creator who has the authority of ownership and thereby the right to set the mark.

According to the Bible, the Creator set that mark for us to be His representatives in the earth, to be caretakers of it. But we were not satisfied with being His representatives and in ignorance of the knowledge and power it takes to sustain creation, we rejected His rule and made for ourselves gods we could understand and control so that we could be the rulers and sit on the throne instead of God. In our effort to gain and to maintain power we have suppressed what can be known of God even apart from the revelation of Holy Scripture by creating false and distracting narratives. In our ignorance, we were also unaware of the immutable spiritual law that to whosever’s idea you yield or to command you obey, you become that person’s slave. Furthermore, we did not understand that ideas do not originate with us: they either stem from Truth or Lies, Good or Evil. As such, by obeying a command stemming from lies we did not become rulers as we thought but subjects, trading the rule of a loving God for the rule of the Father of Lies. We thereby entered in league with Satan and acting as his subjects, we threw the world into disorder, injustice and evil.

We missed the mark.

We used what has been given to us for purposes other than what the Giver intended, thereby opposing and offending God which is sin. There was yet another immutable law, the penalty of sin is death. Sin is opposed to God and whatever opposes God will be destroyed. We are all guilty under this law, leaving corruption and death in our wake and becoming enemies of the Creator, appointed to destruction.

But, God.

But, God was not caught unaware. In fact it was part of His design. Before time, He purposed to grow His beloved family, accounted for our weakness and prepared a Way out for those who were born into corruption but would accept His Love.

In His tender mercy and His loving kindness, God humbled Himself to plea His case with the creatures He made! He spoke through messengers and even established an entire nation to demonstrate the impossible task of humans bridging the gap between themselves and God, even if we were given the instructions!

These were tutors to humble us and bring us back to square one that upholding and governing the universe –achieving good, requires that God does it. But even more than that, it was to prepare us for His greatest act of Love yet, making His appeal to us flesh and walk among us. Such was God’s desire to be with us that He came and made His case to us directly in the person of Jesus Christ!

But not only that, Jesus was sent to take back the creation we lost by being a human that presents Himself obedient to God, being a caretaker of creation, advancing the kingdom of God by taking dominion of the earth, submitting everything that enters His domain to the Father, translating it from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.

Not only that, He sent Jesus to satisfy the penalty of sin -death, by dying Himself, so that there would no longer be any separation between us and God. Being a perfect man in whom the fullness of God dwells, Jesus is a sacrifice who’s worth can cover all the sin of all mankind; past, present and future. So great is His worth that His sacrifice forever tips the scale so that grace continually abounds toward us.

Not only that, when we believe that God sent the Son, we agree with God about our sin, that the penalty is just, that we are incapable of setting things right, that He alone is good and fit to rule and we, having now no reason to boast, are at His mercy to restore us and all creation.

Not only that, for those that humble themselves, acknowledge their error and place all their hope in Christ, so great is God’s love towards us that rather than leave them subjects, He gives us robes and crowns and makes us sons and daughters! Hallelujah!!!

In this age, by the tutelage Christ’s example provides but moreover by the power God provides and that we receive through faith, we are transformed and given a new heart -a new center of our being with new desires. We want what God wants and walk as Christ walked -living obedient to God, submitting everything in our domain to Christ as he continually translates everything from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light until that day when all things have been put under His feet -where all evil, darkness and even death have been abolished. Our ultimate hope is the resurrection that begins the age where we reign with Christ and live with our loving Father and all those that love Him forever.

To many, this is utter foolishness but if any of this resonates with you, you are being saved.

You need only need to confess a belief at the center of your being (in your heart) that the Father sent the Son and raised Him from the dead to be saved -saved from the death your sin is contributing to the world now and the second death later; the wrath of God to come.

If you want to learn more, start here: https://bit.ly/39ipuDP

I love you.

Until I Get My Life Right

lost-places-1646374_1920

What I hear more than anything as I encounter people who consider themselves “unchurched”, is a reluctance to come to worship “until I get my life right.” Surprisingly, there is an element of this that is good theology and demonstrates a knowledge of God that many “churched” folks have lost as a result of their religion: God is holy and I must be holy or in “right standing” to enter into His presence. That’s truth.

But, here’s the good news (the gospel): God loves you so much and is so committed to being with you, that even before the beginning, He architected an ingenious Way for you to be in His presence without compromising His holiness. He provided a Savior able to pay the debt required for our sin and thereby making us able to be in right-standing (righteous). Not only that, but when we believe Christ, we’re given a new heart, HIS heart, a seed that grows unto a new spiritual man and empowers us to put to death our former, godless appetites. And, as we undergo the process of being re-made to look more and more like a Son of the Father (sanctification), we enter the presence of God by the blood (the work and person) of Christ. As a result, when God sees you, He sees His Son in whom He is well pleased so that you can dwell boldly in His presence. Hallelujah! #TheDoorOfTheChurchIsOpen

In loving memory of the greatest teacher of grace I’ve ever known, my mentor and friend, Dr. Gregory Wilson Jones.