Salvation Requires Pinhole Accuracy

Paul Luckett | - Salvation Requires Pinhole Accuracy
Photo Courtesy of Ronnie Dankelman – Flickr

Salvation requires pinhole accuracy. Get it wrong and we die.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who is leading us to a place that requires unimaginable skill as a shepherd and leader to get us to.

He alone can lead us to this place: ¹

the only place where there is good pasture and life, ²

the place that if we don’t get to, we will perish. ³

It is through a Door that requires pinhole accuracy to navigate to.

That Door is Jesus, Himself. ²

The Door is not broad through which anything and everything can fit. ⁴

Rather the Door is very narrow. ⁴

There is an incredibly specific Jesus we must go through.

It’s not the Jesus of how we think He would be, or the one that we want Him to be, or the one of our politics, but it is the real Jesus that came in the flesh, who died for our sin, who was raised from the dead and now lives before God forevermore. ⁵

Finding that Door, let alone getting through it is impossible, it’s like getting a camel through the eye of a needle. ⁶

But, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” – Luke 18:27

The kingdom of God is at hand. Humble yourself. Repent and plead to God to help you. Expose yourself to His Word.

If He grants you ears to hear, the Chief Shepherd will appear.

Follow Him, alone. ⁷

He will get you there. ⁸

As a pastor, I am merely an under-shepherd and my one job is to keep your eyes on the Good Shepherd and direct you in His path. ⁹

Follow Jesus, alone. ⁷

He, alone, will get you there. ⁸


¹ John 10:7-8, Acts 4:12
² John 10:9
³ John 3:16-19
⁴ Matthew 7:14, Luke 14:13
⁵ Revelation 1:18
⁶ Luke 18:25, Matthew 16:17
⁷ Matthew 23:10
⁸ John 10:27-30
⁹ 1 Corinthians 11:1

Jesus Goes Hard

Paul Luckett | - Jesus Goes Hard

This is me some days.

A lot of days, actually.

Struggling to get myself together and out of bed because I don’t know where I’m going or if where I’m going is worth the trouble.

But, Jesus goes hard.

He’s driven.

His goals are not like our goals.

He didn’t leave heaven to acquire houses fit for the cover of “Southern Homes and Garden” or for a certain lifestyle. Jesus said,

“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” – Luke 9:58

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:28

And to the point of daily discipline, He said,

“I must be about My Father’s business.” – Luke 2:49

Jesus left heaven and got up everyday because of His love for and dedication to the Father.

But, I’m not so enraptured by a feeling of love for the Father that it propels me out of bed every morning. Many days I’m not excited. Many days I don’t feel like it.

“Lord,” I say, “I’m not there yet. Help me.”

And, He did. This is where He teaches me. Jesus says,

“Not My will, but Yours [Father] be done.” – Luke 22:42

Simply put, action in loving obedience is not a product of desire but decision. This is what Jesus demonstrates here.

I have to do, not based on what I’m feeling but based on what I’ve decided based in loving obedience to Him. His Truth and His Spirit give me that capacity. It is an appropriate application of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

But, I’m right. I’m not there yet. So, I have to “exercise myself into godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7).

It’s not about daily motivation, it’s about daily discipline.

I have to do what I don’t want to do in loving obedience until it simply becomes what I do because obedience has become part of me. Thus, “exercising myself into godliness.”

I feel it’s also important to observe that Jesus did not move aimlessly. Hebrews 12:2 says that, as our example, as the one who ran the first race and set our course –as “the author and finisher of our faith”, Jesus endured pain and suffering “for the joy that was set before Him.”

Jesus was not pressing toward a thing –an achievement or an event.

Jesus was pressing toward a state, “the joy” –abiding in the pleasure of the Father.

“And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” – John 8:29

That “abiding” is in a continuous tense, meaning, it’s not just something that will happen in the future. In Jesus’s case, it always was, it will always be and it is right now.

His pressing was not for Himself, abiding with the Father was His natural state. His pressing was for our abiding.

“Father, I desire that they also who You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” – John 17:24

So, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

Therefore, I seek to go forth *abiding* more so than *doing*, having God’s heart to see people loved: seeing them delivered from the death of sin, given life through the knowledge of Him by the face of Jesus Christ and that life nurtured by His manifold grace through us in service.

I seek to go forth abiding, Him being a part of everything that I do.

It’s strange. That state, “abiding”, both results from and results in “always doing those things that please Him.”

So, if I’m not enjoying an abiding with Him, the answer is “doing those things that please Him” (loving people: making Him known, serving, etc.).

And, when I’m enjoying abiding with Him, the result is “doing those things that please Him.”

Love is “doing those things that please Him.”

Consider 1 John 4:12-13,

“No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”

Love is “doing those things that please Him” and it is how we abide.

Love is how we experience God.

And, that’s the joy: being with God.

Love is how it is done.

Jesus goes hard for it.

Then, so will I.

So, I press.



Paul Luckett | - Endgame

The endgame of the Christian faith
is not personal state, ¹
it is becoming One in Love. ²

Love draws near. ³
So, my goal is His goal, to draw near to you.

Therefore, I:
labor first to be found in Christ, ⁴
then lift Him up (which draws peoples to Him), ⁵
and make war against the sin that attempts to separate us. ⁶

Love is The Power. ⁷
Life is its product.

Personal state: peace, joy, fulfillment and other good things are byproducts of living according to His purpose. ⁸

Receiving the God of Love is the primary thing. ⁹
Love is the process. ¹⁰
Life is the proof. ¹¹

¹ Matthew 20:25-28
² John 17:20-23
³ Ephesians 2:11-13
⁴ Philippians 3:7-11
⁵ John 12:32
⁶ 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
⁷ 1 John 4:16
⁸ James 1:16-17, 1 Corinthians 12:31, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
⁹ Proverbs 4:7, Mark 12:29-31, John 6:29
¹⁰ Matthew 22:37-40, 1 Corinthians 16:14, Romans 13:10
¹¹ John 1:4, John 10:10, Luke 6:43-44, 1 John 2:6 John 4:14


A Heart That’s Hard To Sink

Paul Luckett | - A Heart That's Hard To Sink

It’s hard to sink a heart filled with thankfulness.

But, it’s impossible to sink one that’s thankful to God (Philippians 4:8-9).

Thankfulness lifts and causes the heart to dwell on the object of our thanks, that is, what we’re thankful for or who we’re thankful to.

There is no higher, purer or more secure place for our hearts to dwell than with God.

When God has my heart, nothing can pull it down from there. Nothing can take it out of His hand (Romans 8:35).

So, for whatever I am thankful, I acknowledge God as the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:16-17), and I will give thanks to the Lord, that I might dwell in the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 27:5, 91:1).

Everything God commands us is for good (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Be thankful, to Him.

Always Already There

Paul Luckett | - Always Already There

Ripples in my heart from John 6:16-21:

Life is wonderful but it can also be hard –not just the certain moments of pain or difficulty but just as much the daily grind.

The tide of life can make me feel like I’m walking in water, moving in place and not getting anywhere.

I often find myself at such times toiling and struggling on my own to get out of that place and to somewhere I think would be better –where the next thing is, maybe where I think I’ll find provision, accomplishment, fulfillment or security.

But whenever Jesus gets in the boat, I’m already where I’m supposed to be.

“I’ll be happy when I get there” is a constant and deadly temptation in our world. Deadly because it blinds me to all I have to enjoy at any given time –even in the midst of difficulty. That blindness renders it (God’s blessings: family, friendships, fellowship, opportunities, etc.) dead, as though it did not exist.

I must therefore be careful to remember that it is not about being happy when I get there, but being completely satisfied with God wherever I am.

Because He is the life: a good Father who constantly unfolds the wonders of His creation before Me, who every second seeks to teach me how to rule and to be as He is –as a faithful husband, a loving parent, a life giving spirit, a wise and skillful creator, a righteous ruler, a good steward and just protector of His creation.

He uses every circumstance to allow me to explore Him, to practice what I learn, to grow in His Spirit, in strength and in wisdom, and He graciously gives me opportunity to have a hand in His works, to do what He does, that I may learn to be as He is. It’s a tremendous thing and it’s often hard. But the difficulty we endure is nothing compared to the outcome.

The point is there is never a need to be afraid about where I am now or anxious to get to the next thing because He is with me and He is the point.

So, whatever the circumstance, wherever I find myself, I should be asking,

How can I enjoy Him?
What is He showing me?
What is He teaching me?
What is there to learn about Him?
How can I use wherever I am and whatever I have to put into practice what I know of Him, to do His will, to glorify Him, to help others enjoy Him?
How can I please Him?

These are the type of questions that lead to soul satisfaction and peace, because in Him is where every good and perfect thing is. (I’m not talking about money but the true riches.)

And, all the answers are readily available when I receive Jesus in the boat.

My aim is to focus on always abiding with Him and the joy that comes with that.

Peace be unto you.

True Freedom

Paul Luckett | - True Freedom
Photo Courtesy Of The Sports Economist

The key to true freedom is to be able to enjoy something without needing it (Philippians 4:11-13).

The only thing I need is Jesus (2 Peter 1:2-4).

When I have Him, He said all the other things I need, He will add to me (Luke 12:31).

Therefore, if I have all I need, I should be able to put any and everything else down and be fine without it (1 Timothy 6:6).

If I find myself restless, discontent, or in any way incapacitated without something, that thing is an idol and sin (1 Timothy 6:6-11).

It’s an idol because it’s doing something for me that only God should do (define me, fulfill me, make me secure, etc).

It’s sin because it’s hindering me from loving properly [because it affects me functioning and I have allowed it to incapacitate me in some way] (Matthew 24:12).

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” – 1 John 5:21

*As usual, I’m preaching most so to myself.

Beware Bible Devotions, Sermons, And Being Spoon Fed

Paul Luckett | - Beware Bible Devotions And Being Spoon Fed

Beware seeking to hear God primarily through devotions, sermons, classes, music or someone’s extra-biblical writings, including mine. Don’t look to be spoon fed.

If you were convinced there were precious things buried in your yard that were worth a fortune, you would not wait for someone else to get it for you. You wouldn’t rest until you got the treasure yourself.

Approach the Word of God that way. Do the work yourself. Dig! Labor, toil, make every effort to get it. You won’t really get anything through preaching, devotions or otherwise, unless you want it like that.

You won’t get anything from someone else that the Spirit won’t give you when you approach the Word open and diligently seek Him.

Rend your heart.
Pray for eyes to see and ears to hear.
Read your Bible.
Believe Jesus.

“He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6

Originally posted by Paul Luckett to Facebook here.

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How The Bible Comes Alive

Paul Luckett | - How The Bible Comes Alive

Reading the Bible is good (Romans 10:17).

But, reading the Bible won’t unlock it (Deuteronomy 29:29, John 5:39-40, 1 Corinthians 2:14).

I must acknowledge my dire need (Luke 18:9-14, Matthew 5:3-8, James 4:6).

And, I must be open to Jesus’s ability to meet that need (Mark 9:24, Hebrews 11:6).

Then, when I seek Jesus through reading the Bible, He will give Himself because that’s what He’s eager to do (Luke 12:32).

And, if I accept what He gives, He will give more (Luke 8:18, 2 Corinthians 3:18).

He will give more and more until my cup runs over (Luke 6:38),
and from my belly begins to flow rivers of living water (John 4:13-14, 7:37-39).

Come to Jesus and be healed (Matthew 11:28, John 7:37).

But, He is of no help to us if we’re well (Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17, Luke 18:9-14).

Pray to experience the conviction of the Holy Spirit, to be given ears to hear and eyes to see your desperate need for God (Deuteronomy 29:4, Matthew 16:17, John 16:8).

And then, the Bible will come alive (Hebrews 4:12).

Jesus’s Proposal

Paul Luckett | - Jesus's Proposal
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So, I say I’m Christian, but have I actually accepted Jesus’s proposal?

Jesus is making this proposal to you, to accept that:

the life you’re living is really death (Ephesians 2:1),

the world you live in is ruled by darkness because we chose to obey Satan (Genesis 3:1-7, Romans 6:16, Luke 4:5-6, 1 John 5:19),

your whole life is harming and being harmed because of your separation from God (Matthew 18:7-9, Luke 17:1),

there is nothing good apart from God (James 1:17),

God loves us (John 3:16, 1 John 3:1),

God is so loving, all-knowing, powerful and wise, that before the foundation of the world He provided us a way of escape (Ephesians 1:4, 1 Peter 1:20, Revelation 13:8),

God’s Kingdom is on the move, His Kingdom is at hand to save us from the death we’re dying now, the coming death of God’s wrath against sin and to save us from Hell (John 3:36, Romans 1:18-19, Revelation 20:6, Revelation 20:11-15) ,

God does what is impossible for us to do: God provided The Way to save us from destruction AND restore us to fellowship with Him, reestablishing the perfection required to dwell in His presence (John 1:12-13, Ephesians 2:13, 1 John 3:1),

Jesus is The Way (John 14:6),

Jesus is God, begotten of the Father by the Spirit through a woman (Galatians 4:4),

Jesus came in the flesh, indwelt by the fullness of God, died as the atonement for our sins and rose from the dead with new life that He makes available to us (John 1:14, Romans 8:11, 1 John 4:2),

Jesus is sent by God to be King, to deliver us from the power of darkness and convey us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, that we may have life through the knowledge of God (Isaiah 9:6, John 18:37, Colossians 1:13),

Jesus offers new life (John 3:3, 10:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17),

Jesus requires that we give up our old life: our identity, our possessions and our pursuits (Luke 14:33),

Jesus requires that we give up our right to rule our own life, to accept Him for who He is –our Master and God, and to submit to Him with total obedience (Luke 6:46, Matthew 7:21, John 14:15, John 15:10),

Jesus requires that we denounce the world and abandon any affections for anything in it. You must give up your previous lover (James 4:4, 1 John 2:15),

Jesus requires that we use everything we have and everything we are to advance His cause, to further His interests and not our own (Luke 14:25-33, Luke 16:10-13),

Jesus offers God (John 17:1-4).

Do you accept His proposal?

When we marry, we don’t know all there is to know about the person we’re marrying or what that person will become, but we see enough worth and believe we know enough about them to navigate the unknown.

I have seen enough of Jesus to trust Him (or at least try). He has proven to me to be exceedingly worthy. I know enough to trust Him to navigate the unknown.

I have not attained, but I press and make it my aim to say “I do” to the Lord, every day.

I commend Jesus to you.

Repent (be convicted of sin –admit falling short of the standard of His love and change direction in pursuit of it), hear Jesus (if you don’t hear, humble yourself, pray and ask God to give you hearing and get in His Word), believe Him and be saved.

Beware taking Jesus’s name (Christian) without taking Jesus. We will not have Jesus until we accept His actual proposal and begin to give Him everything. We will not experience Jesus until we obey Him (John 14:21).

A Love So Different It’s Like Night And Day

Paul Luckett | - A Love So Different It's Like Night And Day

A concept that has alluded me and that was so distant and alien to me, seems so plain and elementary to me now:

We believe that Jesus came down from heaven not only to save us but humbled Himself to serve those who should be serving Him to the extent that He gave His very life on the cross all because of His great love for us (Philippians 2:5-11).

But, that is not true.

Jesus did not do it because of His great love for us.

Jesus did it because of His great love for the Father (John 6:38, 14:31, Philippians 2:8).

Jesus was so faithful to His love for the Father that He was willing to give everything for it (John 8:29, 12:27-28, Philippians 2:8).

He loved God with all His heart, all His soul, with all His mind and with all His strength (John 4:34, Luke 22:41-44, Philippians 2:8).

True love has to start there.

That’s why it’s the first and greatest commandment (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Mark 12:28-30).

“Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, ‘Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. ‘ – Mark 12:28-30

The love of the world is like living our whole life under moonlight. It can be beautiful but that light is merely a reflection of the true source of light and it cannot give life.

While love that begins with God is like walking in the light of the sun which gives life. Moonlight is nothing in comparison.

What I thought love was and what Jesus is showing me Love is, is like night and day.

True love has to start with loving God.

Because Jesus’s love for us started there, He could not be moved.

He was not moved by temptation.

“‘Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” – Matthew 4:8-10

He was not moved by promises of power.

‘Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.’ – John 6:14-15

He was not moved by friends and people He loved.

‘From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”’ – Matthew 16:21-23

He was not moved by pain.

‘There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. ‘ – Luke 23:32-34

Even as He hung, bled and was dying on a heavy, crude, splinter-ridden cross, stripped naked, exposed, mocked –humiliated, He did not revile in return, He did not speak curses but blessings (1 Peter 2:21-23), crying out “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Jesus was on that cross because “for God so loved the world that GOD gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). And Jesus wanted for them what the Father wanted for them (John 10:15-18,15:9).

“Ok,” I ask, “I get that You didn’t want those who believed in Your Son not to perish, but what’s that got to do with the people hurting and crucifying Him?!” Jesus answers, “I’m using everything, My suffering and even My death to draw all men to Myself for the glory of the Father. Remember the centurion.”

‘So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”’ – Mark 15:39

It occurs to me, that if Jesus allowed the destruction of those who were hurting Him, we’d all be destroyed because we’re all hurting Him (Romans 3:10). But even though we’re enemies, rather than destroying us, He continually offers us the opportunity to be friends, offering us everything we need, beginning with a new heart (being born again), and patiently teaching us how to be His friend. His goal is to draw us near to Himself where He is with God, in order to reconcile us to the Father (1 Colossians 1:19-23).

Jesus love for the Father kept Him on that cross, more securely than the nails driven through His body ever could (Mark 15:29-32).

Jesus was never moved from the Father’s love for us.

And that’s the way we are called to love one another (John 13:34, John 15:12, 1 John 3:16).

True love begins with loving God with all my heart, all my soul, with all my mind and with all my strength.

There is a reason this is the first and greatest commandment.

The second greatest is love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).

“And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31

I can’t do the second without the first.

If God is love, how can I love without love? (1 John 4:7-8)

I rejoice and thank God for this revelation of the Holy Spirit, but upon seeing it, I realize “Woe is me!” It is too wonderful for me.

Frankly, I cannot do any of it unless God does it in me (Philippian 2:13).

I want to love God with everything I have. I want to have His heart so that I can love those around me with His amazing love. I want to love like Jesus, with a love that desires for people what the Father desires for them, a love that no matter what people do or no matter what comes, I am immovable (1 Corinthians 15:58).

I confess I don’t love like this and I don’t know how (1 John 1:9).

Dear Father, help me! In Jesus name I ask this. Amen (1 John 5:14-15, John 16:24).