Saturday, November 27, 2010

Godly Teamwork - The Mystery

How many books, plaques, posters, cards and conferences are devoted to team-building?  Everybody has a theory on building a team, maintaining a team and making it more effective. Teamwork is such a common thread in our lives, we all ought to be  experts at it. I have been on curriculum teams, staff development teams, class teams, sports teams, political teams and many leadership teams. It takes a team to do a baby shower, raise a family, plan a wedding, run a home, grocery shop and worship God. You name it, everything involves teamwork.

On the day of Pentecost, 12 men sat down on their prayer rugs in a temple and manifested power that only God could give, holy spirit. It was the full measure of the spirit that Christ had and each man had an equal amount. Then Peter standing up gave one of the most significant sermons in the history of the world and said at the end:
Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
What started in the lofty temple on the hill in 12 men moved into everyday life in people who gladly received and became a part of the body of Christ. This team (homothumadon link) has the potential of being the most effective team on the face of the earth. God supplies the juice. People make it happen together.
Ephesians 3:16-20 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
If people would just believe that God called each one of us uniquely, we would surely walk in the power and spirit of God. There would not be manipulation, power struggles, gossip and the damaging comparisons that go on in an uncommitted team. This group of people that emerged out of Pentecost were excited and motivated. They didn't understand completely what it all meant but as we will see as the book of Acts unfolds, many new and exciting revelations emerged as they started to effectively live and breathe in the new grace administration.

Friday, November 19, 2010


How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg. ~Abraham Lincoln

Calling something God doesn’t necessarily make it God. The true God committed himself to His Word. His Word IS Him!
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Jesus Christ showed us God by living His Word.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. 
On the day of Pentecost, God sent His spirit to reside in the apostles and it resulted in a manifestation in the senses world.
Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this (in broad daylight!), which ye now see and hear. 
Now it’s our turn:
Philippians 2:13-16 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings (really, what do we have to complain about?): That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. 
We’ve got God, His Word, Jesus Christ, and holy spirit. We’ve got four legs to stand firmly upon. There are others today who are one accord with what happened on the day of  Pentecost to the twelve apostles  and the three thousands souls that were with them....
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (homothumadon) in one place. 
We can drop the murmuring and disputing and wag our tails about that!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Choice

Judas traveled with the apostles after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  When the gospels were finally written many years later, God refers to him as a betrayer more than 26 times. It is also recorded in Luke and John that the adversary had a hold of his thinking.  He covenanted with the chief priests whom Jesus had confronted. He spoke up about the precious oil poured on Jesus saying that the money which could have been gotten for it could help the poor. Judas traveled with Jesus and saw the many things that he did for people, healing, blessing, teaching, boldly proclaiming freedom for anyone who believed.  What was the matter with Judas!! Why does anybody refuse to see good? (I'm not going to answer that.)

Yes, he betrayed Jesus Christ and even  when he saw Jesus Christ up and alive, he still chose another path. None of us can judge the heart of a man.  It is the in Lordship of Jesus Christ that men and women exhibit their fruit.  Judas could have turned his life around and done what Jesus Christ said in Acts 1:8.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Instead he chose his own path again and that was it. I don't know why. Whatever his reasons were, the power of God was made available to anyone who believed. Paul spells it out in Romans 10:
Romans 10:9-10 (Amplified) Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation. 
It is a free-will choice.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Testament Reformation

True reformation occurred because of the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. When one looks back at the gospels, it can be seen that Jesus Christ lived the Word as it was to be lived and God's desire for fellowship on a personal level was realized. He brought life into the temple not because of it's grandeur and symbolic history, but because of who he was. Whether he was in a home outside of Jerusalem, on the shores of the sea of Galilee, or traveling around Judea, that life was manifested.

Jesus Christ's ascension to the right hand of God brought in a new direction for people who love God. Acts is the historical record of the change from the old to the new as recorded by Luke. The apostles couldn't put together what had happened or where they were headed. Jesus Christ began showing them the direction in Acts 1:8
Acts 1:6-8 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
When Jesus Christ sent them out during the gospel period, they had the power upon them to carry out great works.  It had amazed them then, but now  permanent spiritual power was soon to be made available to them,to do even greater works.  They would be given spiritual authority. The day of Pentecost gave them what they needed to realize this power, holy spirit in each one of them.
John 14:12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 
His ascension to the right hand of God secured the release of holy spirit through which anyone who believed could enter into the throne room of God. and have full access to creator for themselves and in helping others. We are privileged to be living in this new testament (see link)of God.









Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Influence

The apostle Paul is a great example of one of the greatest leaders of human history. (Read Ephesians if  you doubt this) In the course of his life he became more and more committed to God's infinite grace. He understood the way, Jesus Christ, and as a result grew to be one of the great influences in Christianity. He was a leader in the true sense of the Word (no pun intended). His leadership qualities of continuing to 'press toward the mark' drove his growth. The mark was the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Paul's heart was:
Philippians 3:10-14 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 
A lot of books have been written on leadership in the hopes of isolating a set pattern to identify with. 'Leader' does not mean the same as a manager.  A manager maintains and directs the status quo. 'Leader' does not mean the same as head 'honcho' or 'super brain' or 'front man'. Leadership is not  necessarily positional.   A leader may not be a great salesman.  Salesmanship sells the moment, leadership instills enduring growth in others (Read Ephesians again!). A true leader is hardly aware of the tag 'leader' in his life. He is not a leader for the sake of being a leader, he is way too busy going somewhere.  Paul is a great example.

In the Old Testament, Israel was always looking for a King. Lots of problems resulted. It was not God's heart to set up a monarchy. Theocracy (God's in charge) was His first choice! Paul was not a king.  What position did he hold? At the end of his life he had absolutely no title! He only wanted to share his love for God and what God wrought through Jesus Christ.  The New Testament is quite different from the Old Testament.


The book of Acts tells the story of the growth of the 1st Century church as it matured and grew from the momentous day of Pentecost endued with the power of God. Men and women rose up to influence their day and time with the power of God as a vital part of their resume. The book of Acts ends with Paul in Rome:

Acts 28:30-31 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
There are no more chapters in the book of Acts, but the ones we write today as we believe. As we read through the history of the first century church it points us in the direction of the seven church epistles written by Paul that tell us how to live with the same heart today.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend and we got to talking about respect and the current culture. He made a statement to me t...