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Do you qualify Jesus and disqualify the Law or qualify the Law and disqualify Jesus?- Podcast #49

If you consider Jesus your high priest, you disqualify the Law. If, on the other hand, you qualify the Law, then you disqualify Jesus. 

Sounds strange, I know. So let me back it up, and let’s see if we can find freedom from the rules + chains that often shackle us to religion rather than freeing us TO relationship. 

Why? Because these two are in conflict. And, at the end of the day, you were designed for relationship- not rule-keeping.

Sacrifices reminded people of sin but never fixed the problem 

Sacrifices were made in Israel every single day. Yes, bigger offerings were made at the three larger feasts on specific days (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles), but the sacrificial fire never went out. 

According to the Bible, sacrifice wasn't a reminder of grace but a reminder of guilt. It was a reminder of sin for the people (Hebrews 10:3), because it was impossible for sin to be removed by the blood of an  animal (Hebrews 10:4). 

You read that...

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Write the story you want to live- Podcast #48

In this episode of the podcast I want to tell you about something we just did with our kids, something that applies to me and to you… 

There’s a great passage tucked in the end of Proverbs that’s often misquoted. 

Solomon writes, “Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18).  

A lot of well-intended leaders use this to endorse their grandiose plans- “God wants us to have big vision,” they say. “He says so right here, so we’re going to build a bigger building.”

That’s usually how it goes, anyway. This verse is used for church building programs more than just about any other use I can fathom… 

And, though it’s true that we often dream and plan too small- particularly given the fact that our God is the Creator of the still-expanding universe (meaning, He is STILL creating), the word vision here doesn’t mean “big plans.”

The word vision here (in Hebrew- the...

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Look back to live forward- Podcast #47

perspective podcast Jan 29, 2018

Life must be lived forward. But, it only makes sense when we learn the lessons of the past. 

The final week of the year is a time when a lot of people sit down, assess the previous 365 days, and make some decisions about how things went in the recent past and what they might like to do in the near future. A sense of ease pervades the week almost by default (most businesses expect the hours to be slow- unless you’re in retail and doing the mad dash of post-Christmas returns). It’s the perfect time for reflection.

But I didn’t want to pause and reflect this past year. I knew from the outset the most of the goals I’d set for myself in the previous year didn’t come close to happening. And it wasn’t because I created HUGE, untenable goals, either. I hadn’t made it 5% of the way to some of them at all… 

That’s what I thought, anyway…  

  • Some of the goals included business goals like hitting a new rank in our...
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Jesus over-restores all things- Podcast #46

identity podcast salvation Jan 22, 2018

Grace doesn't just erase your past mistakes and give you a clean slate. It does far more. Jesus takes what the devil stole, redeems it, and then returns it to you with interest.

Let me explain...

The author of Hebrews tells us something strange. He says that the blood of Jesus speaks a better word on our behalf, now, than the blood of Abel did in the Old Testament (see Hebrews 12:24). 

Say what?

I was always thought- and actually taught- that since Abel died when his brother Cain killed him, his blood cried out for vengeance and justice (see Genesis 4:11-12). Of course, the flip side of this was that Jesus’ blood, on the other hand, cries out for mercy and freedom!

However, notice the following chain of events, straight from Cain and Abel’s story- 

  • The brothers both make offerings to the Lord before the murder, meaning both of them know Him (Genesis 4:3-4). 
  • God calls out for Cain after he had killed his brother (Genesis 4:6).
  • God was still speaks to...
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You can't out-run the grip of grace- Podcast #45

podcast salvation sozo Jan 15, 2018

There’s a phrase I used to hear a lot when I played sports: “It’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings.” 

I know. That statement is not politically correct. Still, it’s a kick back to the days of opera when the big gal got up and belted out the final tune, a song that sometimes lasted 20 minutes or more. You could anticipate that the end was coming… but there was still much time to go. 

After she sang… Well, then- and only then- was the show over. 

Coach after coach used to tell us that phrase to keep us focused- even while we were losing. Their point? It’s not over until the final whistle blows. Keep going. Even if you think it’s almost over, keep on… 

 

The highway to hell is never irreversible

With Jesus, it’s never over. Ever. Not even when the big gal is warming up. The highway to hell is never irreversible. 

Read Psalm 139. David says that if he ascends to the highest height,...

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Living the Presence of the Future... Now- Podcast #44

podcast Jan 08, 2018

If it seems that you sometimes "don't fit in," that's probably a good sign, right? Follow me here... 

One one extreme, a lot of people believe that this world is winding down, that the earth may actually be burned up by fire, and that the only hope we have is for God to start over. It sounds bleak, apocalyptic, and it creates a mindset that detaches us from the present in such a way that we no longer live like salt and light but live like an irritant- often by expressing our irritation with how things are going…

The reality IS that our world has a way of doing things, a blueprint that seems to be its norm. That’s true for the “big issues” (wars, political nonsense, etc.), but it’s true for small things, as well (the stuff of everyday life). But that doesn’t mean the planet is about to be judged, destroyed, or that it will even simply vanish… 

On the other end of the spectrum, there's grace... 

Grace isn't just an...

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Sons & daughters ≠ beggars- Podcast #43

podcast Jan 01, 2018

Someone told me that the Gospel is simply “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”

On the surface, that sounds right. It connects to the idea that:

  • The one who has everything but NOT grace has NOTHING
  • The one who has grace and nothing else has EVERYTHING

But, I was reading the Bible a few weeks ago and something struck me that’s given me a new way of looking at things…

I came to this conclusion: The Gospel of Grace isn't about one beggar finding bread and telling others where to find it. Rather, it's about sons & daughters awakening other sons & daughters to the reality of the true riches their Father has already provided for them...

The back story

In 2 Kings 7 we read about Syria laying siege to Samaria. In ancient times, it was common for invading armies to surround a city and “block it.” No one come go in; no one could come out. Everyone was held hostage within the city walls. Well, everyone was sheltered...

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Your true form- Podcast #42

podcast Dec 25, 2017

Sin isn’t just a “bad” thing, it creates a distortion of our unique form, of the greatness we were given from the very beginning. In other words, it's not about legality (Jesus settled that a long time ago: it's about your creative design.)

No, sin isn’t just a “bad” thing, it’s far worse than that. In fact, the more I study the topic, and that more I gaze at the Father’s grace, the more I believe that the “moral” aspect of sin is the “least” important aspect of it. The greater issue is this: sin creates a distortion of our unique form, of the greatness we were given from the very beginning. 

I know- that sounds like an odd way to present a topic that’s usually presented as a right/wrong legal-type of standing we have with God. There’s more to it, though. 

(I know, too, the opening of this sounds harsh... you're used to radical grace here. Trust me... read on and you'll get a huge dose of...

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Abundance taps into the eternal- not just the external- Podcast #41

podcast Dec 18, 2017

True abundance isn’t the result of hard work or ingenuity (though it involves both). True abundance taps into the resources of the kingdom. 

In other words, true abundance isn’t external- it’s eternal. The circumstances don’t dictate your reality: God does… 

Yes, it’s easier to look at the circumstances and “do the best we can” rather than go deep, take a look inside, and tune into the voice of God. However, it’s this relational dynamic that leads us to the first point of abundance… 

 

Here are four attributes of kingdom abundance…

First, God’s blessing is often strange and paradoxical, such that it continues growing our faith and fostering our relationship with Him. This happens because the blessing often comes in ways that money cannot buy. It comes through relationship…

(What we often confuse for “blessing” is simply our best financial efforts and debt-leveraging put...

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Radical Abundance & Relational Trust- Podcast #40

abundance podcast Dec 11, 2017

It’s easy to “spiritualize” the promises of God- and relegate them to another time and place where they have little bearing on our physical lives today. One area we do this is “abundance.”

We say things like, “God gives us true riches…” 

Of course, we do this to explain WHY we don’t see the provision- the radical increase- they saw back in the Bible. 

Here’s the rub. The New Testament tells us repeatedly that the new covenant is superior to the old (i.e., see Hebrews 8:7-13).

So, since our redemption is “better” and based on stronger promises, though, shouldn’t we expect to see this abundance, as well? Shouldn’t we prosper? I think we should…

That said, understanding WHY prosperity happens actually helps us comprehend how to step into it…

 

Abundance is more than just our own best efforts- it connects the Kingdom’s storehouses to our hands

We are redeemed to...

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