Paul Luckett | - 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

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

Paul Luckett | - 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


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.

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

A Vessel Of Honor Or Dishonor

Paul Luckett | - A Vessel Of Honor Or Dishonor

One thing the Bible clearly demonstrates is that everything that happens in this life and our response to it will be a sermon for someone.

It is written,

“we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses”
—Hebrews 12:1

And in another place,

“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
—1 Corinthians 10:11

The only question is whether my response to what happens in this life will be praiseworthy or a punchline?

Wherever you are or whatever you’re going through consider this:

How will my life be read?

Will I be a vessel of honor or dishonor?

Can God use me, where I am, in this situation, to put His glory on display?

Or, will I be a vessel storing up iniquity, as a chamber pot, collecting excrement to be discarded?

Either way, God is going to use everyone to serve His great house.

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.

Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”
—2 Timothy 2:20-21

Which vessel do I want to be?


Paul Luckett | - Motivation

This is about motivation.

Lately, there have been some days where it has been harder to get up than others.

It reminds me of a time when I was completely without motivation, when I had little desire to do anything and it felt like I had to lift the weight of the world just to get out of bed each day.

Then a switch flipped for me.

The turning point was anger.

One day I lost a lunch break just trying to decide what to eat. I wasted an entire hour brooding over what I had a taste for. There was this unhealthy obsession about what meal would please me the most. I would later realize that what I was really doing was looking for how food could provide enough good to makeup for how bad I was feeling elsewhere in my life, the sadness about my failures, about not measuring up, about not getting ahead, about my marriage…

In the beginning food was a salve. It could make me feel better for a little while. But it’s effect was diminishing to a point where the grief was too great for any amount of titillating tastes, perfect textures, soothing chewing or sheer volume of food to overcome.

On that lunch break I came to terms with the reality that food could not fill the hole in my heart.

Food could not make my life good.

And the Sisyphean task of getting up each morning was my subconscious realization that I was trapped in a cycle of futility. I was being compelled to spend great amounts of time and effort to do things that did not profit me.

I was enslaved.

That infuriated me.

This was my motivation.

I hated the idea of something having that kind of power over me.

The next day, I started eating the same kind of Subway sandwich every day to take thinking about what I was going to eat out of the equation.

The next month, I started and completed the P90X program that my wife bought me, twice.

Six months after that, I started going to the gym and have maintained that routine since then – for 15 years now at the time this was written.

But, it wasn’t a straight line. There were periods of relapse because there was flaws in my motivation. And, I have since realized that it’s easy to trade one tyrant for another.

There was a period that I became religious about what I ate and going to the gym. I still struggle with that to some extent, but I have embraced this truth:

Going to the gym and eating healthy cannot fill the hole in my heart.

Going to the gym and eating healthy cannot make my life good.

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not profitable.

All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
—1 Corinthians 6:12

There’s a near infinite number of things you can insert in that sentence, “X cannot fill the hole in my heart. X cannot make my life good.” Sex, food, alcohol, money, success, friends, children, church…

But, I have found the One who can fill the hole in my heart. I have found the One who can make my life good.

My experience is that whatever is truly good, is always so -it’s good all the time and for everyone everywhere it is experienced (it’s good even for those who are not the primary participants but are affected by it’s secondhand downstream effects).

Good is alive, life giving, growing, unable to be contained, overflowing the deep expanses of my heart.

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 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 1:16-17

I have also found that anger is not a sufficient or sustainable source of motivation. Whatever is burning at the heart of that fire, whatever is fueling that anger will be eventually spent.

This is true for a lot of sources of motivation. I once got a full scholarship because I was motivated (pride, stubbornness) by someone telling me I couldn’t. It was sufficient motivation to get me to school but was not enough to get me through school or through the challenges life presented me at the time.

But, “love never fails…”
—1 Corinthians 13:8

My encounter with the love of God expressed in the person of Jesus Christ changed everything. It is changing everything.

I was utterly enslaved, hurting others and being hurt, ignorant of my bondage and without strength to do anything about it.

But since I met Jesus and the Holy Spirit has revealed Him as Lord, I am being set free.

Bit by bit, He’s marching through every corner of my heart, winning territory and tearing down strongholds, the lies, that block the life-giving love of God from shining on and through me.

It’s so good.

My appreciation of His love for me and consequently my love for Him, and you grows every day.

Now my motivation is to make Jesus King.

I am angry about the devastation that I see sin causes and I want people set free from the tyranny of the evil one and the lies of this world.

But above all, I am loved by God, I love Him and I want others to share this wonderful love that I’ve found. Or said more accurately, this wonderful Love that found me.

I want a world where Jesus reigns and He does what He’s doing for me as King.

He alone is worthy to rule.

I am His soldier to this end.

As a soldier, sometimes, when you’re in the trenches and you’ve been there for so long, your motivation can wane, you can forget the mission and lose sight of what you’re there for. I’m peeling potatoes, but I’m not actually peeling potatoes. Whatever job I’m doing is in support of the war effort -a war that ends with Jesus crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords, where there is no rule that rivals His and He returns all things to God that He may be all in all.

This is why I get up every morning. This is what I use everything at my disposal to achieve: my money, my home, my job, my relationships, my marriage, my life.

This is my motivation: to make Jesus King because I love Him. He is excellent and He rules well.

“Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.

For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.

The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’

But when He says ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.

Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”
—1 Corinthians 15:24-28


A Non-obvious Encounter With God

Is God real?

The natural approach to the concept of God often leads to the search for the super-natural, that is a super-event that is still along a natural continuum, a sign, an observable phenomenon, something bound by space and time that we can perceive with our five senses.

But, God is spirit. (John 4:24)

An authentic encounter with God is often non-obvious and imperceptible to the natural eye because it’s spiritual.

“Philip said to [Jesus], ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, “Show us the Father?”‘”
—John 14:8-9

An encounter with God is a committed, consistent, all consuming burning that transforms us.

“And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?'”
—Luke 24:32

“For our God is a consuming fire.”
—Hebrews 12:29

We can know and experience God.

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
—John 10:10

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
—John 17:3

Everyone who does is transformed by it. No one who sees Him remains the same.

“You must be born again.”
—John 3:5

It’s a miraculous reality unbound by time that always is; before you were born and after you die.

“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world”
—Ephesians 1:4

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
—Ephesians 2:4-7

That’s spiritual. That’s supernatural.

It is real.

It’s a reality on a higher spiritual level, that’s not always obvious on this natural one, but its effects are (Galatian 5:22-23).

I Am Accepted In The Beloved

Paul Luckett | - I Am Accepted In The Beloved

I am accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)

This is what we’re built for,
This is humanity’s greatest suppressed desire,
This fills the God-sized hole in each of us,
It is the reason for our social bent,
To be accepted truly, purely, safely, irrevocably, ultimately by the Father.

I am accepted in the beloved.

To really recline in that I need two things:

to be completely satisfied with being accepted by the Father —alone, to be perfectly content and full of joy with the Father’s acceptance whether anyone else accepts me or not,

and to understand that I’m accepted on the basis of His goodness, not mine.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” —Romans 5:8

I cannot mess this up.

There is nothing I can possibly do to mess this up.

Oh, what amazing grace! Praise your name God our Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ!


This is at the heart of righteousness.

Righteousness is having a right relationship to everything.

This reality, that I am accepted in the beloved, changes my posture.

Accepting it changes how I relate to everything. It makes righteousness possible.

It allows you to stand tall and stand firm for what is good and right, like a mighty tree that gives shelter to others and feeds them with the fruit from The Tree Of Eternal Life who’s leaf never fades and is always in season.

Consider Jesus.

This cradle of absolute safety was established so that you could be conformed to His image without fear of failure or rejection, so that no matter what happens, Jesus is the result.

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete [it] until the day of Jesus Christ;”
—Philippians 1:6

I am accepted in the beloved.

Rest in that, and be transformed by it.

Placed In The Dark

Paul Luckett | - Placed In The Dark

Sometimes, God will put me in the dark to show others in the dark The Way.

“Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.” —2 Corinthians 1:6

Those with a heart ready for heaven, who love God and are called according to His purposes, glory in their suffering, rejoicing to be counted worthy to suffer for His name.

“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” —1 Peter 4:16

And for those, like me, who are not there yet, God uses all things, including that same suffering to get you there. Instruction in the Light and lessons in the dark facilitated by the Holy Spirit is how I’ve gotten this far.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” —Romans 8:28-29

“Though He [Christ] was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” ——Hebrews 5:8-9

“Why Lord?” is an excellent question, if I’m listening for His answer.

I have not already attained but I press.


The Goal Is Not Good But Life

Paul Luckett | - The Goal Is Not Good But Life

The goal is not to be “good”, the goal is to be life-giving.

“And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”
—1 Corinthians 15:45

To be sure, good is life-giving but which you set your heart on to pursue, drastically changes the outcome.

There’s a great difference between wanting to look like Dad versus wanting to be like Dad.

Because we, as Christians, often pursue presenting some perception of God’s person (“good”), rather than pursuing God’s heart and purposes (life [John 10:10]), we get religious, which results in a lot of beautiful dead things (e.g. buildings, rituals, programs, gestures, etc. [1 Corinthians 13:1-3]).

The goal is life.

If you’re thinking how only God can give life and we cannot do that, you’re on to something.

Furthermore, life is the result of God’s glory. So, the ultimate goal is God’s glory.

Both are something that ultimately only God can do [John 12:28, 1 Corinthians 12:3].

“No one can say Jesus is Lord [glorify God] except by the Holy Spirit [God]”
—1 Corinthians 12:3

We can only hope to make ourselves available for His use, which requires emptying ourselves of everything: possessions, pleasure, popularity, power and even our person.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
—2 Corinthians 4:7

That’s ultimately the lesson of the Jesus’ encounter with the Rich Young Ruler [Luke 18:18-27].

The goal is not to be “good”, the goal is to be life-giving.

We cannot do it.

But, God can, through us.

“But [Jesus] said, ‘The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.'”
—Luke 18:27

Rather than just signaling virtue and having an appearance of righteousness (paying tithes, going to church, being a “good person”, etc.), seek God’s heart to produce life in others.

Seek God on how to allow God to give life through you.

So… how’s your garden? [Genesis 2:15]

Same Suffering Different Outcomes

Paul Luckett | - Same Suffering Different Outcomes

If I go to church,
If I pay my tithes,
If I do good things,
bad things will not happen to me.

That’s not true.

That’s witchcraft.

You can be perfectly in the will of God and suffer the same conditions created by original sin as everyone else:

need – 2 Corinthians 6:10, 2 Corinthians 12:10
hunger – Philippians 4:12,
sickness – Philippians 2:27, 1 Timothy 5:23
distress – 2 Corinthians 6:4
disaster – Acts 27, Romans 8:35
injustice – 2 Corinthians 6:5
crime – 2 Corinthians 11:26
violence – 2 Corinthians 6:5
torture – Hebrews 11:37

death – John 19:10

The difference is, for those who belong to God and are in His will, our suffering —our grappling with the various manifestations of death caused by original sin, produces life.

So then death is working in us, but life in you.
—2 Corinthians 4:12


“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.”
—2 Corinthians 4:7-‬12

“But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
—2 Corinthians 6:4-‬10

Glorious Suffering

Paul Luckett | - Glorious Suffering

God is teaching me about suffering.

The message given to me was:

We can do more than know about God.
We can know God.
We can be with God, now.

Now, the Word burning on my heart is:

We can make God known.

As I pressed into this, and dug to unearth the marvelous treasure of this revelation, the first means of making God known that the Spirit began to tutor me in was suffering.

It has been put on my heart to dispel several prevalent yet errant notions about suffering.

One being that because I may be suffering, that something must be wrong, that I’ve done something wrong or that I must not be in the perfect will of God.

But “living right” or “being in the will of God” does not give us a pass on suffering.

Bad things have happened and will happen to even God’s most faithful elect.

In that sin has entered the world it made it so that everyone will suffer, even the best man, the perfect man, Jesus, was not excepted.

We do not have a choice whether we will suffer, but we can choose who our suffering will serve.

It may very well be that you are suffering not because you’re not in the will of God, but precisely because you are, and He has entrusted to you the honor and privilege of making Him known through the ministry of your suffering.

Consider Job.

Not only do I hope to share how to survive these inevitable seasons of suffering, but to thrive in the midst of them, by God’s grace being plump grapes in the desert —a fig tree producing in incompatible seasons, giving life and bearing fruit abundantly for the saving of souls to the glory of His name.

In the coming days and weeks, I hope to unpack that and share what God reveals about how to suffer in a series called Glorious Suffering.