This Way to True Life

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

I believe that there is something after I die. While I live on this earth, I live because of Christ. When I die, I gain the Kingdom. I gain heaven. I gain a new relationship with God, one that I don’t have here on earth.

But until that happens? I truly believe what Jesus said when He taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We’re supposed to bring the Kingdom to earth. I live under that understanding. While I’m here, I’m an ambassador who is supposed to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. And I believe that I can help do that. I believe that the Spirit of God helps lead me into areas where I can help.

The Spirit will lead you, if you’re living the lifestyle of Jesus.

That’s what the disciples did. They lived the lifestyle of Jesus. Jesus foretold it. He told the disciples, “Greater things will you do after I leave, because you will be empowered by the Spirit.” And after Jesus was gone, they were! And they did!

The proof is in the persecution they suffered. I mean, no one dies for a decision. There’s no way you can tell me the disciples were hung upside down on crosses, were martyred, jailed, stoned, and beaten, simply because they were trying to get people to say they accepted Christ. For the disciples, conversion wasn’t just a matter of saying that Jesus is Lord. If that’s all we had to do, there’s no way anyone would die for it.

No, you accept that Jesus is Lord and then you live a brand new life. A life in Jesus! That’s what the disciples did. They not only accepted Jesus as Lord, they lived like He lived. They lived with a discipleship mentality. They walked the walk, and then they died for it. They died for the lifestyle of Jesus. True life! When they accepted Christ as Lord, when they believed that He was the Savior, they did not stop. For them, discipleship was a way of life.

What was that life? It was life in relationship. Life using the “love your neighbor as yourself” mentality. The disciples wanted to make sure that they brought God’s Kingdom to earth. That’s why they wanted to live like Jesus lived. That’s why they wanted to love people like Jesus loved people. And that’s what they died for. They died for the lifestyle that they knew was right.

It makes sense to me. If I’m going to die for something, it will be something that I know is right.

I think the disciples knew true life. Paul said, “Take joy in trials and tribulations.” Take joy? How? How are we supposed to take joy in trials and tribulations? Who does that? The disciples did, because they didn’t find their joy in the physical aspects of life. Life for the disciples wasn’t hunky dory on the outside. It wasn’t that they were joyful because they never had anything bad happen to them. In fact, they always had something bad happening to them! Not a moment of life was free of turmoil. There was a lot of stuff that went down.

So why did they challenge people to live a life of Jesus, when they knew they would die for it? They did it because it was fulfilling. They had true joy. They had true happiness. They said, “Things may go wrong around me, but I know where my joy is. It’s in my Savior! I’m filled with joy, because I know what it’s like to love people!”

Now that’s the way to live! That’s the way to live the true life. See you Monday.

Discipleship (Part 2)

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

I believe that there is something after I die. While I live on this earth, I live because of Christ. When I die, I gain the Kingdom. I gain heaven. I gain a new relationship with God that I don’t have here on earth.

But until that happens? I truly believe what Jesus said when He taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” I believe we’re supposed to bring the Kingdom to earth. I live under that understanding. While I’m here, I’m an ambassador who is supposed to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. And I believe that I can help do that. I believe that the Spirit of God helps lead you into areas where you can help. The Spirit will lead you, that is, if you’re living a lifestyle of Jesus.

That’s what the disciples did. Continue reading

Joy to the World!

I’ve spent years studying, and asking God how to reflect the love of Jesus. Here’s what I’ve learned. If I ooze the aroma of Christ (not the stench of man-made religion!), then I will create joy in the lives of others. So I will do this in the best way that I possibly, humanly, can. I believe that’s the very most that I can do, but it’s the very least that Jesus does. He loves us so much!

If you read the Bible, you’ll realize that it’s all about loving your neighbor. It’s about helping those who do not have. Some people think the Bible’s a bunch of made-up stories that make this life sound great. But I think it’s Truth. Continue reading

Good News for Somalia

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Why is there hunger?  Why would God create a world in which people are hungry?

There’s hunger in the world because there’s sin in the world.  God created the world to be filled with Him and His goodness.  The fullness of God was here, in the Garden of Eden.  The fullness of God was there, in Adam and Eve.  They weren’t in need of anything.  But they made a choice.  Adam made a choice.

So we allowed sin.  We took out the fullness of Christ.  And we make choices every day that are wrong, that bring more and more sin into the world.  We bring that upon ourselves.

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press. To read the full story, go to http://bit.ly/o2uLHT.

Now we need Ambassadors of Christ.  We need the Christians, the newborn believers.  We need the people that say, “I am now an Ambassador of Christ.  I live as best I can.  I live to represent Him.  So what do I need to do?” Continue reading

Bringing the Kingdom Part 3

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Last time I wrote about how believers respond to famine by bringing abundance. We bring the Kingdom the same way that Jesus fed the five thousand: with leftovers to spare! We bring it with abundance!

We don’t want to give food to hungry people and then just disappear. Once those kids finish the food we bring, we don’t just shrug and say, “Oh well, hope someone else helps.” When we host a Something to Eat event, we don’t give up.

With your help, our December 3rd Something to Eat even in Palo Alto will send 135,000 meals just like these to famine-stricken families in southern Ethiopia.

We want to give them food, but we also want to help make their communities healthy and sustainable. Continue reading

Bringing the Kingdom Part 1

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It’s really difficult to understand God’s purpose when we look at what’s happening in the horn of Africa. A combination of famine, escalating food prices, and war has put an estimated 2 million children at risk of starvation. What is God’s purpose for their lives?

That’s a very tough question. I don’t know if I have the answer, but one thing that helps me get through it is the Lord’s Prayer. Continue reading