Leading With The Need: How We Get More From Church

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Leading With The Need: How We Get More From Church

Why can church seem plastic and empty?

Because I come to the King’s treasury laden with debt but I pretend like I’m rich.

I only leave empty because my pride prevents me from taking advantage of the King’s debt forgiveness program.

In order to do that I have to openly declare bankruptcy.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
— Matthew 5:3

In James 5:16, the author writes,

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Notice that confession of our sin PRECEDES healing —the establishment of healthy function.

Very often I get nothing from church because I pretend that I have it all together.

A pastor and mentor of mine, Pearson Liddell, advised me regarding ministry, “get real as quickly as possible, otherwise you’re wasting people’s time”.

When we don’t confess our sin, we leave money (healing) on the table.

So, for me, moving forward, every church service, fellowship, Bible study will begin with this question, “Where is the sin in my life?”

And what is sin?

Missing the mark.

It’s being outside the circle of love, outside the Kingdom of God. (sin state)

The result is always that we don’t love properly. (sin action)

Leading with the confession of our sin requires humility, looking into the mirror of the perfect law of liberty, turning the sword of the Word (which is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart -Hebrews 4:12) on myself (rather than against others as we so often like to do) and praying, “Lord, show me where I’m apart from You. Show me the areas where Satan sits on the throne in my life. Show me where I’m failing to love properly.”

There will always be something to confess, always an area where we can be healed, always a place where God can make us more glorious.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
— 1 John 1:8

There’s no sense in being sick, coming to the hospital and pretending that I’m OK.

I come to Christ through fellowship because I’m in need.

We should lead with our need.

I’ll start:

One of the greatest hindrances to my loving properly and to God’s glory being expressed in my life is that my regard for many things in this world have not yet descended to the level of trash.

“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

I am preoccupied with my appearance and have burdened myself with debt and unnecessary things to bolster it which keeps me from fellowship and hinders me from following Jesus completely and fearlessly.

Please pray for me.

My Growing Confidence In Love

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - My Growing Confidence In Love

No one could ever convince me that Love does not exist.

Or, that it is just language for a mutually agreed upon construct,

or merely an electro-chemical reaction in our brains.

Because I’ve known Love to exist apart from these things,

transcendent,

powerful,

sovereign,

alive

—an agent that causes, not an effect.

Love is law that’s obvious to everyone when it is not obeyed.

God is Love.

In fact, that’s what brought me to belief: love undeserved,

love that existed

despite the fact that I had not acknowledged or participated in any semblance of a construct of mutual value or regard,

love that was experienced

despite the electro-chemical reactions in my brain: feelings of sadness and depression.

It was not my imagination.

It was not an emotion.

It was an encounter.

It is a Person I reliably meet every time I’m loved or every time I seek to express love.

And it matches Jesus to the letter as He is described in Scripture and even as I learn more about Him.

It’s a person that is not whatever we want it to be but a person with an identity just as distinct as a fingerprint.

It’s an ID everyone is wired to make. Everyone can tell what is more or less love, which is what makes John 13:35 true:

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

“All will know” not by just anything we call love, but by something very specific as indicated in the immediately preceding verse:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
— John 13:34

We can’t make Love whatever we want it to be.

“All will know” by love that Jesus is,

love that Jesus demonstrates,

love that Jesus commands.

“This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.”
— 2 John 1:6

Love is law.

“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
— Romans 13:10

Love is a Person to be obeyed.

“But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
— 1 John 2:5

God is love.

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
— 1 John 4:8

Want to know God?

Love

by obeying Jesus and express Love personified.

#perfectourlove

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

God’s Love Burns

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - God's Love Burns

We gush about the blessings and kindness of God’s love, but what about the change His love demands and causes?

Our God is a consuming fire.

His love burns.

It both warms the heart and burns aways sin.

If I’m not experiencing both, I’m not experiencing God’s love.

****

It would probably be better said, “His love ‘ignites’ the heart and burns away sin”, because we were completely dead before, we had nothing to warm.

It was for reason of our common understanding of the expression that I chose “warm the heart” as in the pleasant warmth often associated with being loved.

But His love is not just pleasant, it’s transformative. It creates new life in us and eviscerates the darkness of our former selves.

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
—John 1:4-5

****

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!

Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

“Little children, LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning.

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
—1 John 3:1-2, 7-9

Seeing People Through Christ’s Eyes

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 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.”

#perfectourlove

Am I A Good Person?

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Am I A Good Person?

People around me may applaud and praise me as being a “good” person, but am I? What does Jesus say?

You know, the hungry, the thirsty, those I do not know, the naked, the sick, those who are in prison? The people whom the Father wants to be safe and sound in His kingdom as sons and daughters, treated just as though they were His beloved Son because they are His kindred, they ARE His flesh and blood –what does *that* Jesus say about me?

Do I deal with them on the basis of how they can or cannot advance my interests?

Or, will I deal with them on the basis of having an intense intolerance for the incongruity of insufficiency, illness and imprisonment with God’s kingdom and act with a sincere desire to bring their circumstances in-line with His intent?

That’s what Jesus did, after all.

How I engage the inconvenient and disinherited is a more accurate reflection of who I am and whether I ever knew Jesus than praise from other self-promoting people who I trade favors among.

“Then He also said to him who invited Him, ‘When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.

But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.

And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.'”
—Luke 14:12-14

I have failed this test many times.

I repent.

Love seeks to remedy the inconsistencies between God’s heart and what’s happening, with whomever it’s happening, everywhere it’s happening.

“[Love] does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;”
—1 Corinthians 13:6

Love goes.

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and COMING in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
-Philippians 2:5-8

Do you have such a heart? Is the same mind in you that was in Christ Jesus? To go until there is no place that His light has not shined?

There is a lot of work to do Christians.

How “good” we are is determined by whether we share the same heart as the only One who is good, who so loved the WORLD that He sent His only begotten Son that they may not perish but have everlasting life.

A desire to see “Your kingdom come, Your will be done” EVERYWHERE determines whether we hear “Come, you blessed of my Father” (Matthew 25:34), or “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:23, Matthew 25:41)

Love is the law. (Romans 13:8-10)

Let love be without hypocrisy. (Romans 12:9)

Father, help me to not be deceived by my own or the world’s sense of goodness. But, give me a heart that wants above all else to see Your kingdom come.

Create in me the heart to go, as Jesus did, to bring the Gospel not only to people’s hearing but also to what’s happening in their lives, to live as He lived that I may through obedience manifest the only One that is good: God, so that I can truly proclaim as my Lord did, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand”.

I ask this in service to my Master, your only begotten Son Jesus’ name.

Amen.

As Christians our constant occupation should be where to bring the Gospel, both to ears (word) and circumstances (deed), next.

“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
—1 John 3:18

That’s good.

Love Is More Than Kindness

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Love Is More Than Kindness

We often confuse a kind face with love. But love is not always approval, hugs and kisses. Sometimes love is resisting you to the face and telling you you’re wrong.

Love is much more than kindness.

Love will bruise you to make you better.

Love will brave the risk of your rejection and retaliation to help you.

Love will bear the expense for your profit, often ridicule and sorrow.

Love will boldly resist iniquity; what causes harm.

Love is so much more than kindness.

#perfectourlove

Victory In The Lord’s Communion

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Victory In The Lord's Communion

Something that’s still rippling through my heart is a word imparted by Alan Hawkins that I heard at New Horizons,

“The way of escape is the Lord’s communion.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-21

This coincides with something else burning on my heart: we NEED each other.

It is not enough to have weapons or to even know how to use them, I need HELP!

I need my fellow soldiers because the war we fight is multifaceted and I wasn’t given all the gifts.

I was intentionally given a subset of the gifts; 1. for specialization and 2. so I’d have to depend on my fellow beloved to avert pride -one of the deadliest of Satan’s weapons!

To go into this war alone is unwise.

“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.”
— Proverbs 18:1

It doesn’t take many but it definitely takes more than me.

“Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight;
your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.”
— Leviticus 26:8

There are many challenges on this battlefield that different members of the body are especially equipped to handle. Despite personality differences or how I might feel about them, I cannot afford to be separated from these resources.

Did you know that disruption of logistics is a common military tactic?

The way to victory is the Lord’s communion!

But we’ve been disrupted!

Our primary objective as believers today should overcoming the divisions that have cut us off from each other.

We should be laying aside anything that separates us and fight toward each other!

Victory is in the Lord’s communion!

When we are together in Christ, then we can bind the strong man and plunder his goods, taking back from Satan all that he’s taken in deceit. (Mark 3:24-27)

Wake up church! We can win: our marriages, families, communities and the redemption of all things!

God has given us victory in the Lord’s communion.

We need each other.

Love.

#spiritualwarfare #perfectourlove

How God’s Love Is Different

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - How God's Love Is Different

One of many ways the love of God is different:

God’s love is not transactional, it’s relational.

When I love you with God’s love, I love you, not on the basis of what you do or even who you are, or not even because of my relationship to you, but I love you based on my relationship to God.

The beginning of love is not the appreciation of some virtue in the subject.

Love is like light. There is no virtue in the darkness that activates light. Light shines simply because that’s what light does.

The beginning of love is God. Loves does what love is. Said another way, Love does who God is.

The question is, do I have Him [love], or perhaps better said, does love [God] have me?

If so, love is just going to do what it do and there should be nothing the subject can do to stop that.

The principal thing then, is to know Love, to have Him and Him have me.

Abide.

Only then am I in a position to love.

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”
-John 15:9

#perfectourlove

Bad Love

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Bad Love

Hardly anything is more destructive than a bad definition of love.

We do more harm to each other in the name of what we think is love than we do with hate.

At least with outright hate, it’s clear who the enemy is so you can avoid them or defend yourself.

But, I find that most of the harm that people suffer, and the most devastating came at the hands of people we thought were for us and who were actually well meaning (to the extent of their ability), sincerely thinking they were loving when they were doing the opposite.

Examples:
A guy who claims he loves a girl but is defiling her.

A parent who thinks they’re loving a child but is actually teaching them to hate themselves.

A person who think they’re helping the disadvantaged but is only further setting them back.

Me doing something that feels good or seems good that makes me worse off.

Etc.

But, Jesus came so we’d have an accurate definition, to teach us Love that “does no harm”.

If you want to know how to truly love: yourself, your spouse, your child, your family, your friends, your neighbor, God, look to Christ.

“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

#perfectourlove