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April 23rd, 21

Jesus is sending them out two by two, with his credentials. They’re going out as his disciples with his authority and his message. And they’re also going out with his compassion. Jesus wants us to go out with his credentials and his compassion. That’s what Jesus wants from us as His disciples. When we do that, we begin to experience His kingdom life. And we begin to see him in a clear light, and experience His compassion in our own life, in a new way.

But we shouldn’t be surprised when people misunderstand. Or we shouldn’t take offense when we experienced persecution. That’s what Jesus experienced. That’s what he did. And that’s what came his way. He tells us quite plainly, that it’s going to be the same for us, too. So are you rejected by family or your religious community, or by authorities, because you serve Him and offer his message of love and grace for all? Well, you shouldn’t be surprised if you’re rejected. Jesus says, because that’s what happened to him too. And yet, Jesus still sends us out into this world, just like he did with the 12. He sends us with his credentials, and his compassion, and his very presence, Christ in you. He’s sending us out as his apprentice. And he wants you to see this broken world, the way that he sees it. He sees it through the eyes of his father, he sees it with a heart to restore, to make new, to heal. He sees it (the world) with compassion. And he wants us to see the same. So let’s go out. Let’s do what he told us to do. Let’s respond to His command to go into all the world, taking his credentials and his compassion and make Him known. We do this in the power of Christ himself, who lives in abides in you. So let us go with great joy in the power of the Spirit, and do what he’s asked us to do.

And that’s a prayer that I have for my own soul. That’s the prayer that I have for my family for my wife, my daughters and my son. And that’s a prayer that I have for you. May be so.

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Journey – April 23rd, 21

Psalm 23 is perhaps the most well known Psalm of all, and for good reason. It’s beautiful. It’s simple. It’s elegant, comforting…beautiful. There are refrains within this Psalm that will speak to you during life’s most difficult times. The phrase I draw most comfort from at all times is in verse four. “Even when I walked through the darkest Valley, I will not be afraid for you or close beside me.” You are close beside me. This phrase, this promise, this reality. This is an expression of God’s character and his heart. And this is what my heart needs to be awakened to, most of all. God is close beside. He’s not standing off at a disapproving distance. He’s not waiting for me to get myself together. No, in the darkest time, he is with us. Today he’s with you. Whatever your circumstances. God is close beside. Let this refrain. Speak to your heart today. God is close beside – Amen.

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April 22nd, 21

There are needs everywhere. Yet Jesus seems to see through the physical needs and right into the soul. He sees our need for forgiveness, healing from shame, regret, there he has compassion. There he reaches out, there he heals, forgives. He says to the paralytic, be encouraged my child, Your sins are forgiven. The same is true in our lives. Jesus sees through our physical needs right into our souls. He sees our need for forgiveness. He has come to show mercy. In verse 13. He says, “Now go and learn the meaning of this scripture. I want you to show mercy not offer sacrifices, for I have come to call not those who think they are righteous. But those who know they are sinners.”  He wants us to think about it. Think about the meaning of this scripture. Because our thoughts automatically go to what must I do in order to carry favor with God? What must I sacrifice? how might I perform in order to be made right with Him? When our thinking goes there, we missed the point. We have to think again. Jesus tells us think again, go and learn the meaning of the Scripture. I want you to show mercy not offer sacrifices, your demonstration of mercy. Your heart for others, is evidence that you understand the heart of God, that He has come to sacrifice himself on our behalf, to heal us. He’s not looking for our religious sacrifices. He did what we could not. He brought healing, forgiveness and hope. He came for the unrighteous, not those who think they are righteous, by the things that they do. God wants me to raise my eyes and see what he sees. The blind, the sick, the bleeding, all people needing His compassion and his life. When we see the way God sees when we look with his eyes in his spirit, while the same response wells up within our own hearts, and we have compassion, and we will go out and work in the fields alongside him, will participate with him will be empowered by him. That is what God is up to here. He wants us to see what he sees. And he invites us to join him in the field, working alongside with his power, his strength, his joy. And that’s a prayer that I have for my own soul. That’s the prayer that I have for my family for my wife, my daughter’s my son. And that’s a prayer that I have for you may be so

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Journey – April 22nd, 21

You’re included. These are some of the best words a person could ever hear. You’re not excluded, you’re not separated out. You’re not on the outside looking in. You’re included. You’ve been drawn in. You’ve been seen and recognized. You’ve been made a part of your included. This is the gospel message. The children of Abraham were assigned to the world. They were ambassadors of God’s heart, that God’s heart was to include all the nations of the world to let the whole world know that they are included by God Himself. That message is for you today. Do you feel excluded? Do you feel left out on the outside looking in? Well, I’ve got good news for you. You’re not you’re included. May you sense that today? Amen.

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April 21st, 21

The leper had a question. Is God willing? Is God willing to reach out with hands of compassion and touch him? To make him clean? I imagine you might have that same question. I think everyone has that question. Is God willing? Will God reach out to me? Will God touch me and make me clean? Or will God keep his distance? The Roman officer had that question for his slave, is God willing to reach out with compassion and touch him? The crowds that lined up outside of Peter’s mother in law’s house? They all had that same question. Will God reach out with compassion and touch me heal me? Or will God keep his distance? We all want to know whether God cares enough whether God is compassionate, and he is willing to make up the distance? Because we surely can’t. Will he reach out and touch us and make us clean? It’s a fair question. It’s at the root of all of our questions. We’re all tempted to believe the negative, that God is not willing to make up that distance. In fact, religion has made a fortune selling us the lie of separation, the lie that God is separate from us. He’s unwilling to make up the distance because of our uncleanness. He’s holy, we are not therefore God is separate from us. But separation is a lie. God is not unwilling to reach out with compassion, and touch us in our uncleanness. The gospel is a direct contradiction to this lie. Jesus says, I am willing. There is no separation. I’m here right now, just as you are right where you are. God has come to sit with us right? At our worst at our lowest, at our most broken, he’s willing. And he is present. He is not separate. He’s with you right now. He has already unmasked the live separation, and revealed to the world. What God is really like, God is with us. God is willing, God is compassionate, and God desires to set us free. And to make us clean. My friends, is such good news. And the prayer of my own heart today is that I will be rooted deeper and deeper into the gospel of union with God in Christ, that the lies of separation will be routed out from my mind and my heart. And that’s a prayer that I have for my family too for my wife and my daughters and my son. And that’s the prayer that I have for you may be so

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Journey – April 21st, 21

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. That’s from verse 12. The essence of all that is taught–yet, only a few seem to find it, and only one truly lived it. He is the door through which we must pass in order for that kind of life to be possible for us. Verse 14, “the gateway to life is very narrow, and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”

Unless we die to our own efforts, and come to Jesus for that live, we will miss the kingdom entirely. The road is difficult, because it requires us to die to our own selfish way of life. That’s why if you ever find it, he is the gate into that kingdom life. Living a life where we are doing unto others, what we would like them to do to us is the work of God in our life. It’s the gospel, the Spirit of Christ, transforming our very character. And that is a gift from God. It’s not something earned or strived for or sweated out to obtain. As children, we are to trust our good Father, he won’t give us a snake if we ask for a fish. He knows how to give good gifts that get to the essence of our very life. He’s good. He gives good gifts to his children. In light of how good he is. We seek, we knock we pursue with all our heart. We participate with his good life, and we experience his heart. And then good fruit happens. It just does. Because that’s what good trees do. We are able to live the way that we were intended to live. So may God opened our eyes by His Spirit, to reveal to us the very essence of who we are. We are alive in him. We are his children. Our life is found in him. He is our father and his life in US will bear good fruit. Let’s live with eyes open to what our good father has done for us in Christ. And let us rejoice in who we have become in him. That’s the prayer that I have for my own soul. That’s the prayer that I have for my family for my wife, my daughters, my son. And that’s a prayer that I have for you. May it be so

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April 20th, 21

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. That’s from verse 12. The essence of all that is taught–yet, only a few seem to find it, and only one truly lived it. He is the door through which we must pass in order for that kind of life to be possible for us. Verse 14, “the gateway to life is very narrow, and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”

Unless we die to our own efforts, and come to Jesus for that live, we will miss the kingdom entirely. The road is difficult, because it requires us to die to our own selfish way of life. That’s why if you ever find it, he is the gate into that kingdom life. Living a life where we are doing unto others, what we would like them to do to us is the work of God in our life. It’s the gospel, the Spirit of Christ, transforming our very character. And that is a gift from God. It’s not something earned or strived for or sweated out to obtain. As children, we are to trust our good Father, he won’t give us a snake if we ask for a fish. He knows how to give good gifts that get to the essence of our very life. He’s good. He gives good gifts to his children. In light of how good he is. We seek, we knock we pursue with all our heart. We participate with his good life, and we experience his heart. And then good fruit happens. It just does. Because that’s what good trees do. We are able to live the way that we were intended to live. So may God opened our eyes by His Spirit, to reveal to us the very essence of who we are. We are alive in him. We are his children. Our life is found in him. He is our father and his life in US will bear good fruit. Let’s live with eyes open to what our good father has done for us in Christ. And let us rejoice in who we have become in him. That’s the prayer that I have for my own soul. That’s the prayer that I have for my family for my wife, my daughters, my son. And that’s a prayer that I have for you. May it be so

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Journey – April 20th, 21

“Grace, mercy and peace come from God the Father, and the Son.” This is what john tells us in verse three. If we’re not careful, we might think that God the Father is somehow different than God revealed to us in Jesus. That Jesus is somehow the gracious and merciful one who saves us from God the Father. I’ve even heard it preached that Jesus saves us from God. But that is not what John says. John wants to tell us clearly that grace, mercy and peace come from God the Father, and the Son, in the anointing of the Spirit. There is no shadow side of God behind the back of Jesus, that we must be saved from. All that can be known about the Father is seen in the face of Jesus. There is no division in the Trinity. This isn’t good cop, bad cop. That’s why Jesus tells Philip, when you see me, you see the Father. Jesus doesn’t come to save us from the Father. He comes to reveal the father to us. The Father who was full of grace, mercy and peace. So let us rejoice in the grace of our Father today. And let us live in the truth of who he is. And let us live in love. For God is love. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit Amen.

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April 19th, 21

What are you looking at? Where’s your eye being drawn? What light is filling your eye? Are you looking at the world? If the world has caught your eye, then your thoughts will be dominated by worry, survival, what you eat and drink what you wear, people’s opinion of you. The world’s great at helping us keep our eye on ourselves. But Jesus says, Your eyes like a lamp that provides light for your whole body. When you’re is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eyes unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is. If the eyes like a lamp for the whole body, then what we’re looking at really matters. If our eyes fixed inward, it becomes a black hole. It only leads to a life of self obsession, worry regret, which has a way of filling our whole life and dominating us. Jesus says when your eyes unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And for religious folks, Jesus has a special warning. He says if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is parading our religious light before others, in an attempt to co OPT God and draw attention rather to ourselves is a deep, deep darkness. But Jesus wants to invite us into a different way, a way that goes beyond worry and self obsession. He allows and enables us to step into a life of trust and rest in God. A God focused life. When we focus our eye on him, we find a father who knows everything about us, even our private motivations, and yet, he still loves us. Our father sees us. And lets us know that we are far more valuable to him than we can dare to imagine. When you know that you are loved that way. You can afford to take your eye off of yourself and actually begin to take a good look at someone else. on others. A God focused life allows us to see, love, honor and serve others. When our eyes and life are fixed on him. His light will fill our whole body. It’ll start to shine out in all the untouched areas of our life. He’ll shine his gracious, merciful healing light into our past onto our wounds. So what you look at matters. What is your eye looking upon? Keep your eye fixed on him. Let the light of Jesus fill your eye. It’ll bring light to your whole body, your imagination, your soul, and it will make you what you really are. Knew. And that’s a prayer that I have for my own soul. That’s a prayer that I have for my family for my wife, my daughters, my son and that’s a prayer that I have for you may be so

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