Living the Good News

I think the Bible tells us to live and love like Jesus, and the scriptures tell us a lot about how He lived and loved. You can see for yourself what the Bible says about loving our neighbors as ourselves, as servant leaders.

I’ll tell you what living like Jesus is not about. It’s not about health, wealth, and prosperity; at least, not the way the prosperity Gospel preaches it. Those are things that God chooses to bless us with as He sees fit. There is a season for all of these things, but they are not meant to be our focus as followers of Christ. Whether you are blessed with them or not, you can still be fulfilled through discipleship.

We get into this salvation mentality. We get saved, and then we think we’re done. I truly don’t believe that’s where it ends. I truly believe that salvation is just the beginning. It’s the beginning of a life of discipleship. It’s the beginning of living the Good News.

What is the Good News? I mean, what is the Jesus Gospel? The lifestyle of Jesus is a huge part of it! The life He lived, and taught us to live, is very good news! Salvation and justification are part of it. That’s the beginning of our life in Jesus. But then, we’re called to discipleship. We’re called to live the Good News!

I’ve heard people say that Jesus didn’t speak the Gospel. They say He couldn’t have. They say the Gospel came after He died. That’s a little mind-boggling to me. I mean, Jesus is the Gospel! Jesus is the Good News! He was It! Of course He preached the Gospel, because He was the Gospel! He did the Gospel!

When I hear people say that Jesus didn’t speak the Gospel, it says to me that we’re stuck in a salvation mentality. We focus everything on Jesus’ death. We think we’ve completed our lives as Christians as soon as we acknowledge His death for our sins. But that’s just where we start. What about Jesus’ life? How can we ignore that, when the Bible contains a detailed account of it? It tells us what He did and said, and it contains the instructions He gave to everyone who wanted to be His disciples.

Sometimes I ask myself why I live the way I live, and that nails what I’m saying here. Why do I live the way I live? I don’t ask myself why I am the way I am. I know the answer to that. I’m saved. I’m justified by Christ. That’s who I am. But I don’t assume that means I’m good. I’m not necessarily good. I’m not necessarily right. I’m not necessarily on the right path. I examine the way I live, because I want to be a disciple of Jesus.

Do I mess up? Yes. Am I always good? No. Am I always on the right path? No. But when I get off on the wrong path, I ask the Spirit to lead me back. And I believe that the Spirit does, because I want to be a disciple of Jesus. I want to be a servant leader like HIm. I want to be deeper. I want to go further. I want to always be on His path.

How do I know when I’m on His path? I’m there when I’m serving the way Jesus served. I’m fulfilled, happy, and full of joy.

How about you? See you Monday.

Servant Leadership

I think the Bible tells us to live and love like Jesus, and the scriptures tell us a lot about how He lived and loved. Last time, I offered some thoughts about what I think that means. Keep reading your Bible! You can see for yourself what it says about Jesus, and how we’re supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves.

I’ll tell you what living like Jesus is not about. It’s not about health, wealth, and prosperity. These are things that God chooses to bless us with as He sees fit. Whether you are blessed with them or not, you can still be fulfilled through discipleship.

Living like Jesus is also not about your best life now. Not all the time. I know sometimes Christians say that once you’re saved, everything’s going to be hunky dory. But that’s a tactic they use to get you saved. And it works! People hear that, and they get saved. They think they’re going to become rich!

And when they don’t become rich, they say there is no God.

We get into this salvation mentality. We think we just have to get people saved, and we’re done. I truly don’t believe that’s where it ends. I truly, truly, truly believe that salvation is just the beginning of a lifestyle of discipleship that we begin to live. It’s living out an understanding of what the Gospel means.

What is the Good News? I mean, what is the Jesus Gospel? That you have to accept Christ or rot in hell? I’m sorry, but you’re seriously telling me that sounds like good news? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

The lifestyle of Jesus, the one He lived and taught us to live, is good news. The discipleship lifestyle is the Gospel. Salvation and justification are part of it. They are our beginning. But we’re called to live it.

You hear people ask, “Did Jesus speak the Gospel?” And some people will say He didn’t. They’ll say He couldn’t have. They’ll say the Gospel didn’t come until after Jesus died.

That’s a little mind-boggling to me! I mean, Jesus is the Gospel! Jesus is the good news! Whatever Jesus did was good news. He was IT! Of course He preached the Gospel, because He did the Gospel! But people don’t think like that.

That just shows me where we’re at. We’re stuck in this salvation mentality. We focus everything on Jesus’ death. We think we’re done being Christian when we acknowledge His death for our sins. But what about His life? How can we ignore that, when the Bible contains a detailed account of all the things He did, and all the things He said, and all the instructions He gave to everyone who wanted to be His disciple?

Sometimes I ask myself why I live the way I live. That’s the question! That nails what I’m saying here. Why do I live the way I live? I don’t ask myself why I am the way I am. I know the answer. I’m saved. I’m justified by Christ. But I don’t assume that means I’m good. I’m not necessarily good. I’m not necessarily right. I’m not necessarily on the right path.

Do I mess up? Yes. Am I always good? No. Am I always on the right path? No. But when I get off on the wrong path, I ask the Spirit to lead me back. And I believe that the Spirit does, because I want to live as a disciple of Jesus. I want to be deeper, I want to go further, I want to be on His path.

How do I know when I’m on His path? I’m fulfilled, I’m happy, and I’m full of joy.

I have more to tell you about this! See you Monday.

Living Abundantly

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Abundant life! What does that mean? Well, abundant life is a life that is not in need. You don’t need to find food, you have it. You don’t need to find water, you have it. You don’t need to find a place to live, you live somewhere. You don’t need to find a job, you have a job.

It doesn’t mean you have millions of dollars. I think abundance is having enough, plus some for somebody else. And if you have enough, and you have extra, then you live in abundance.

An abundant life involves so much more than having a lot of consumer goods. You can get caught up in buying more stuff for yourself — stuff you don’t even need — while there are people who will die if they don’t get your help.  That’s the situation we’re in. Consumerism can actually kill people! Living like Jesus is the answer to the problem. Jesus came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.

I know people are going to tell me, “Well, Jeremy, you have stuff.” It’s true! I have an iPad, an iPhone, and a laptop. I’ve got three things that get on the internet all at once. Maybe that’s excessive! But I also give, because saving lives is so important.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have anything. But what if you never even have a mindset to help someone in need? That’s shallow. I’m not saying that you should never buy anything for yourself. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that if our drive, our heart, our focus, is simply to make sure that we have what we need, then we have the wrong heart. If we’re always saying, “I want this and I want that, and I know I could live without it but I’m going to get it and I’m going to get that too,” and we don’t have a thought for anybody else, then we have the wrong mindset.

We think “abundance” and we see dollar signs. I think that’s our habit here in the US. But abundance can mean something really different, depending on where you are. There are so many places in the world where someone might say, “Abundance? That’s when I’ve got a home. I don’t care if it’s a 600 square foot home. It’s a home. Now my family doesn’t have to live on the street. I’ve got a home, I’ve got a job, we’ve got food on the table, I’ve got a well to get clean water from, and my kids aren’t dying of dysentery. In fact, they’re going to school. That’s abundance. I know what it’s like to not have these things. Now that I have them? And my family’s safe? That’s abundance.”

We need to help make that happen. We’re ambassadors for Christ! He said He came so that we may have life, and have it more abundantly. He gave us the message. He gave us the example. And He gave us that quality of life when He was with us on earth. These things didn’t leave when He did. He gave them to us, so that we’d live by them. If we are to represent Him, we need to follow His example. We need to spread His message. And we need to give that quality of life to others. Let’s bring abundant life to others!

See you Thursday.

The Discipleship Lifestyle

The Bible tells us to live and love like Jesus, and it shows us how to do it, by showing us how He lived and loved. Last time, I told you what I think it’s all about.

Now I’ll tell you what living like Jesus is not about. It’s not about health, wealth, and prosperity. These are things that God chooses to bless us with as He sees fit. Living like Jesus is also not about your “best life now.” Not all the time. I know some Christians say that once you’re saved, everything’s going to be hunky dory. But that’s a tactic they use to get you saved. And it works! People hear a promise like that, and of course they get saved. They think they’re going to become rich!

But then when they don’t become rich, they say there is no God.

We get into this salvation mentality. We think we just have to get people saved, and then once we do that, we think we’re done. I truly don’t believe that’s where it ends. I truly believe that salvation is just the beginning. It’s the beginning of a life of discipleship. It’s living out an understanding of what the Gospel means.

What is the Good News? I mean, what is the Jesus Gospel? That you have to accept Christ or rot in hell? There are people out there who are seriously claiming that a threat like that is “good news.” I’m sorry, but that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

The lifestyle of Jesus, the one He lived and taught us to live, is good news. The discipleship lifestyle is the Gospel. Salvation and justification are part of it. They are our beginning, but we’re called to live it.

You hear people ask, “Did Jesus speak the Gospel?” And some people will say He didn’t. They will say He couldn’t have. They will say the Gospel didn’t come until after Jesus died.

That’s a little mind-boggling to me! I mean, Jesus is the Gospel! Jesus is the good news! Whatever Jesus did was the good news. He was IT! Of course He preached the Gospel, because He did the Gospel! But people don’t think like that.

That just shows me where we’re at. We’re stuck in this salvation mentality. We focus everything on Jesus’ death. We think we’re done being Christians when we acknowledge His death for our sins. But what about His life? How can we ignore that, when the Bible contains a detailed account of all the things He did and all the things He said, and all the instructions He gave to everyone who wanted to be His disciple?

Sometimes I ask myself why I live the way I live, and that nails what I’m saying here. Why do I live the way I live? I don’t ask myself why I am the way I am. I know the answer to that. I’m saved. I’m justified by Christ. But I don’t assume that means I’m good. I’m not necessarily good. I’m not necessarily right. I’m not necessarily on the right path. I examine the way I live, because I want to be His disciple.

Do I mess up? Yes. Am I always good? No. Am I always on the right path? No. But when I get off on the wrong path, I ask the Spirit to lead me back. And I believe that the Spirit does, because I want the discipleship lifestyle. I want to be deeper, I want to go further, I want to be on His path. How do I know when I’m on His path? I’m there when I’m fulfilled, when I’m happy, and when I’m full of joy. How about you?

See you Thursday.

Good News is Life!

I think the Bible tells us to live and love like Jesus, and the scriptures tell us a lot about how He lived and loved. Last time, I wrote about what I think that means. You can see for yourself what the Bible says about Jesus, and how we’re supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves.

I’ll tell you what living like Jesus is not about. It’s not about health, wealth, and prosperity. Continue reading

Sharing Abundance

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Abundant life! What does that mean? Well, abundant life is a life that is not in need. You don’t need to find food, you have it. You don’t need to find water, you have it. You don’t need to find a place to live, you live somewhere. You don’t need to find a job, you have a job.

It doesn’t mean you have millions of dollars. I think abundance is having enough, plus some for somebody else. And if you have enough, and you have extra, then you live in abundance. Continue reading

Living Like Jesus (Part 2)

I think the Bible tells us to live and love like Jesus, and the scriptures tell us a lot about how He lived and loved. Last time, I wrote about what I think that means. You can see for yourself what the Bible says about Jesus, and how we’re supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves.

I’ll tell you what living like Jesus is not about. It’s not about health, wealth, and prosperity. These are things that God chooses to bless us with as he sees fit. Whether you are blessed with them or not, you can still be fulfilled through the discipleship lifestyle.

Living like Jesus is also not about your best life now. Not all the time. Continue reading