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Grace + Freedom + Empowerment + Hope & Healing

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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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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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We count the things that matter the most

We tend to count and measure the things that matter the most. It's why we count our money and balance the checkbook at the end of the month. It's why I track our business numbers just about every single day. It's why we count our kids when we get in the car.

Sometime, really, ask me about the time that Cristy drove off and left one of our kids in the house... A few blocks down the street, she turns from the driver's seat and asks the others, "Hey, where's Judah!?"

Full disclosure: I made fun of her...

... until I did the exact same thing.

I can't give you the inside scoop on her story. Here's mine: I left the school one afternoon, cruised about a mile away in the 12-pac van we drive.

The car seemed about 15-20% quieter than normal. I scanned the rearview mirror while cruising down the street at an ever-decreasing speed, knowing something wasn't quite the way it was supposed to be...

"Levi's still at school!" one of the boys exclaimed.

They said it, right as I felt it. I had,...

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Reaping & Sowing AND Natural Consequences vs. Punishment- Podcast #34

legalism podcast salvation Oct 30, 2017

On the 3rd day of Creation, the “seed principle” of sowing and reaping was introduced. Many of us just ASSUME that it only has to do with plants and biology, but this principal is a “law” that we can see in every area of life…

In this talk, I first define the concept of reaping & sowing. Then, I talk about the Machiavellian fallacy we sometimes import into our theology. Finally, we dive into a few practical examples of where we see real life examples as it relates to sickness, disease, “losing” healing miracles, and other theological landmines….

First, four points about reaping and sowing…

Here are the four points. You always… 

1. Reap WHAT you sow >>>

Farmers all understand this. Kindergartners do, too :-)

If you plant corn, you’ll reap corn- not tomatoes. If you plant squash, you won’t harvest bacon.

It sounds odd, I know, but many people believe… 

… that you can sow...

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You're Not Being Punished- Podcast #33

 

God isn’t going to chastise you for something Jesus has already been punished for… 

Ride with me here… 

The prophet Isaiah foretold- centuries before His birth- that Jesus would bring healing by His death. In fact, he says, “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was pierced for our iniquities.” Then- “By His stripes we are healed” (see Isaiah 53:3-5).

Notably, Isaiah speaks about all of the in PAST tense- as if it’s already DONE- even though he lived a long, long time before Jesus’ birth. 

That leads us to two New Testament authors that directly reference Isaiah’s declaration. Notably, one of them, Matthew uses Isaiah’s passage to explain WHY Jesus healed so many people on the way to the Cross.

In effect, Matthew says, “Yes. Jesus was going to die for all of these people. And He was purchasing their healing… So, He healed them throughout His ministry, because of...

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Everyone Can Be Healed- Podcast #32

Sometimes, what we need betrays our theological box. So the box has to go. That is, we find ourselves facing a circumstance where we DESPERATELY need God to shine… yet it doesn’t fit the way we’ve been told He moves….

Physical healing is one of these areas. It’s a box we create, and a box that can’t withstand the pressure of reality. 

My experience… 

In the past I came in contact with two groups on two different extremes that theologically didn’t believe in physical healing. It didn’t fit their “intellectual system.” 

On one hand, Christian fundamentalists assumed that Jesus healed, and that the disciples healed. But, healing passed away once we had the Bible. We no longer needed miracles to “know” how God is since we could just read about Him in print…

Say what? 

Yeah, that’s what they said. 

Some of the leaders in this movement even said that when we see healing-...

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You've Always Been Mine- Podcast #28

Continuing the discussion on the Redemption… and focusing on shame (Jesus bled inside Himself to free / redeem the clutter inside of us), we stumble upon the story of the prodigal son. 

Turns out, there wasn’t a plan to talk about the son… or his older brother. But, here we are…

You see, shame causes us to choose to wear a mask rather than wearing our identity. It prompts us to be someone- or something- else, rather than being comfortable in our own skin. 

Such is the story of the younger brother. 

And, get this… it’s the story of the older brother, too.

Some of us choose the rebellious mask. A lot of us choose the “good deeds,” earn-my-way, show that I’m valuable and worthy mask. This last one… is the mask of the older brother.

Here’s the truth: your worst moments don’t define you. Nor do they disqualify you from the Father’s love. 

On the flip side: your greatest successes all...

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Freedom is now!- Podcast #18

It’s easy to punt the promises of God to the future- to a time and space after we die. When do this, we turn the stories and the principles we see in Scripture into nothing more than allegories and tales about what COULD be rather than what SHOULD be in the moment. A lot of us live like this- effectively postponing the blessings of NOW, determining instead to hope for them after death. 

In the Bible, though, people expected God’s blessings to come in the present- they anticipated that His promises were for NOW and not for later. The Children of Israel were delivered in their lifetime- not after they died. In the New Testament, even, Paul had to correct the Church at Corinth. They were so “this world” minded about the power and presence of God that they decided their future in Heaven wasn’t important (see 1 Corinthians 15:12-19).

We’ve swung the pendulum the other way. You see, both are important. 

Yes, we get to go to Heaven when we...

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Our journey to freedom- Podcast #13

podcast salvation sozo Jun 05, 2017

To understand redemption, we need to understand the first time the word is used in the Bible. You see, later authors actually build on what earlier writers teach us. In other words, to understand the redemption Jesus offers (i.e, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Acts 20:22, etc.), we must understand the concept of redemption those authors had in mind. 

This takes us all the way back to Exodus. The first time we see the word “redeem” in the Bible is what God reveals to Moses that He is about to free His people from slavery (Exodus 6:6). The second time we see the word used is in Exodus 15:13, when Miriam (Moses’ sister) looks back at what has happened and exclaims through song, “God did it! He redeemed His people.”

Redemption means freedom. Freedom from bondage. And Jesus is clear that His freedom is all-encompassing (see John 8:36). 

Now, the Israelites weren’t just forgiven, they were freed. In the same way, we’re not just forgiven, we’re...

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