The Call of Nehemiah (Nehemiah’s Burning Bush)

The Call of Nehemiah

If you are not familiar with Nehemiah, he is the guy in the Old Testament that returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the gates of the city. He is known for his great leadership and decisiveness in decision making under duress. What he accomplished in the time he accomplished is amazing when you look at the enormity of the task.

When I heard of Nehemiah and read his story, I did not realize he was not called to rebuild the gates and walls of Jerusalem. I have read his story multiple times because I have read the entire bible several times. For reasons I cannot explain I always thought he was called by God to rebuild the gates. But recently as I was reading and studying this man, I realize he was never called to do anything. I assumed even after having read the story that God had specifically called him as he did with Abraham, Moses, Noah, Saul, David, Solomon, Jonah, Gideon, Samuel, Paul, Matthew, Peter  and many others in the Old and New Testament.

As a matter of fact, He was not even the first one to know about the situation. He heard of it through the grape vine if you will. There were many others who could have taken up the cause, but he was the one who did. Nehemiah was not sitting around wondering what the call of God was for his life. He had a high-ranking position in the king’s court. Which meant he was well taken cared off. He was not looking for a new job or to start a new enterprise. He did not see clouds of heaven open over his life and hear a voice that said you were created for such a time as this. All he did was inquire about the remnant of Jews remaining in the promise land after the exile.

The point is this, we make a big deal about knowing what the call of God is on our lives’. We agonize about it we want to find meaning and purpose in our existence. We pray about it we can become despondent because we feel our lives are a meaning less humdrum existence without purpose.

Nehemiah was not looking for the call of God he was successful. He was in the King’s court attending to the King on a daily basis. He was fulfilling and important role in the nation. He knew all the right people.

What happened? He heard a report that broke his heart and he decided to do something about it. Nehemiah was not responding to the call of God He was responding to a need God place in his heart. He needed to do something about the situation in Jerusalem.  The burden in his heart became the call of God in his life.

Nehemiah 2: 12

Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem.

This verse is the closest we get to a “calling” from God in Nehemiah’s life. What God did was make Nehemiah aware of a need and Nehemiah responded to it. Anyone who was aware of the condition of the gates and walls of the city of Jerusalem could have accept the burden and moved to repair the gates and God would have prepared a way.

We are all looking for a burning bush experience with regard to the call of God in our lives when we should be looking for the burden in our hearts and allowing God to turn that burden into purpose.  

There are a plethora of needs in the world today, Pick one do something about it and let God bless you with passion and purpose.

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An Expression Of Love

Mark 12: 41-44

 And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43 Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”

Why did she give everything she had? Have you read this story and asked why? It is easy for us to read this story and admire this poor woman for her generosity, for her sacrifice, for her selflessness, but truly why did she do that?

What would inspire me to give everything away? Regardless of where you are in life rich or poor, giving everything away amounts to the same thing. Was she giving everything away in hopes of receiving more? Was it an act of final desperation? Was she testing God with her finances? What motivated her to put her last few pennies in the offering basket?

As the word of God works on multiple levels at the same time so it is with these verses.  I think there was an element of all those things in her giving her last coins. She gave in hopes of being provided for by God. She gave hoping God would multiply her giving back to her. She may even have given as a last desperate plea to God for provision. All those things may have been floating around in the practical recesses of her mind, but I think her motivation was much deeper. I think it was love.

When I think about why I would give everything away the only reason that comes to mind is love. I only reason I give everything away is for love, for someone I love. She was in love with God. Everyone else gave out of abundance. Jesus was not condemning the rich for giving out of abundance rather he was showing us what true love is.  What is the greatest commandment?

Matthew 22:37

37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 

When she put in her last few coins in the offering basket, she was saying God I love you, I trust you, I give you my all. Do you realize the amount of money was insignificant in this story? She put everything into the basket, her hopes, dreams, her next meal, everything, into that basket. It was not the desperate act of a hopeless person. It was an act of love, done because of love. In this seemingly sacrificial act, she was giving everything she had to God as an act of love. It was not a trade. It was not tit for tat. She put everything she had in the basket as an act, an expression of love.    

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WWJD

WWJD

In the 1990’s the acronym “WWJD” was very popular. It means “What would Jesus do.” The intention was for the believers in Jesus to pattern their behavior after what Jesus would do. In hopes that we would be a better representation of Jesus. Approximately 30 years later it might be appropriate for us to ask “What would Jesus Do?

Here we are in the middle of a pandemic and I have heard no one ask what would Jesus do? This question is irrelevant to the non-believer, they have no interest, nor do they place any value in what Jesus would have done. But to the believer it is a pertinent question it may be the only question we should seek to answer.

Would Jesus have worn a mask? Would he have closed the synagogue? Would He have stopped singing in synagogues? Would He have bowed to the pressure of the masses to implement impotent practices to pacify the public? Would he have endorsed social distancing? Would he have abdicated His authority as the Son of God, in favor of floundering governmental officials? Would He have isolated Himself for long periods of time to insure His health? What would Jesus do?

I do not have answers to these questions. However, I do know some of what He would have done. First and most importantly He would have prayed. If you know anything about Jesus it should be that He was a man of prayer. There are multiple times when Jesus went alone to pray. The night of His crucifixion He spent in prayer. Secondly, He would have compassion for the sick there are multiple times when He healed the sick. He would have confronted the leadership and exposed their corruption as he did many times. He would not abdicate His position of Son of God as He did not on the day of His crucifixion. He would love us through the pandemic. He would submit to the will of God unto death as he did on that terrible day.  He would never leave us. He would have lived by faith as He always did. There are a multiple of things He would have done if He were alive on this earth today.

There is one other thing we know about Jesus He did not operate in fear. There is not a single instance in the bible were Jesus succumbed to fear. He held His ground in every encounter. That is not to say he acted recklessly without regard to His safety. It means he responded with the appropriate action in all situations. The night prior to His crucifixion He boldly answered the question who is Jesus? He was not motivated by fear when He step up, He was motivated by love for His creation.

The question now is what will you do?

In Romans 8:11-14, it reads,

11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you” This statement dictates to you and me how we are to behave. What awesome power has been entrusted to us. The same Spirit of power that possess the ability to raise Jesus from the dead is the same Spirit that lives in you.

That Spirit is not depending on the filtration system of a face mask. Now, understand I am not advocating wearing or not wearing a mask I am trying to get you to understand what is at your disposal. All that I am saying is we need to start acting in conjunction with the Spirit of God in you. I am not going to give you a 1,2,3 formula for your Christian behavior. But the Spirit of God can and will lead you if you will ask.

There are some obvious things we can identify which will help us to identify what is not the will of God for each of us.

1 Fear. Fear is not the spirit of God for any situation. If you are reacting in fear you are not working in conjunction with the Spirit of God. Prudence and fear are not synonyms, you must act with prudence but never in fear. What does prudence look like, do not walk into a covid ward without proper equipment. Do not get into a situation you have no business being in. Prudence says you do not do anything that will unnecessarily bring you into imminent danger.  

2 Confusion. Confusion is not an attribute of God. If you are confused, you need to check your sources. Because they are not representing God. God will always be consistent and clear if you are not clear ask God for clarification. 

John 3:16

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

We love this promise of God.

1 Corinthians 6:20

20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

This verse, we do not like too much. It goes against everything we have been taught throughout our lives. But here it is, we belong to God. We are his and he can do with us as he pleases. Being a Christian means we have given all of ourselves to God because we believe that He will bring us to victory in this life and the life which is to come. It means that we are not totally shielded from what occurs to common man. It means we may get sick it means we may die of covid 19. It means you may go through this pandemic without a scar or sneeze. But it also means that whatever you go through it will happen after it is processed through the full measure of God’s love.

Belonging to God means that whatever we go through, God has prepared a place for you. It means though the pain may be excruciating, and you don’t fully understand why, God will not abandon you. He will redeem you on the day of your salvation. It means that when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He will be with you. When you come to the other side God will be there to restore you to lift you up and to accept you into your destiny with Him.  

So, what should we do? Love God. Come into communion with His Spirit. We need to bring the desire of God into our hearts and express His love not in fear or apprehension. But with joy and hope. We must truly behave as if God exists, because He does. We are the representation of Christ. We must behave with a Spirit of power love and a sound mind.

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Clarity

Clarity

2. Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

As we spoke about Nehemiah’s accomplishment of building the wall it strikes me how clear his dream was. Once he heard the report, his dream was as clear as it could be. His dream at that moment was to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem. We do not even know if Nehemiah had ever been to Jerusalem yet his dream his burden was crystal clear. I for one do not think he had ever been to Jerusalem. If he had his reaction to being told of the condition of the city would have been different. Yet his reaction still empowered him to accomplish a seemingly impossible task.

As I think about clarity of those in the bible I do not find or remember a single individual with such clarity. Abraham was told to go to the promise land, but he did not have a clear understanding of what that meant. Joseph was given a dream, but he did not fully understand what it meant or what he would accomplish. Esther was given a task she could not with any degree of clarity know the outcome. Noah built a boat without ever seeing one or rain.  I could go on, but the fact of the matter is there are very few people who saw what they were called to do as clearly except for Jonah. Jonah saw exactly what was going to happen and it happened. 

The disciples did not have any clarity about the death and resurrection of Jesus. They were locked up in a room fearing for their lives they definitely did not have any clarity about what was about to come. We are no better than the disciples we lack clarity. If there is one thing, we would all like to have it is more clarity.

In every area of our lives we would like to have Nehemiah’s clarity. We would like to know more than anything else exactly what we should do next. There is very little we know about Nehemiah before chapter one. What we do know about him is exemplified in chapter one of Nehemiah. When he heard the report, he was in anguish. What he did next tells us he was a man after Gods heart. He prayed but he did not pray a prayer of requests it actually was a prayer confession. He exhibited a heart of remorse. Then he had the audacity to remind God about His promises to His people. Could it be that Nehemiah clarity comes from his spiritual priorities? Though he was heartbroken and distressed about the current conditions in Jerusalem he does not go off immediately asking God for provision. First thing he does is acknowledges Gods sovereignty and shows a repentant heart.

Nehemiah clears the lines of communications with God by disposing of the trash between him and God. He confesses his sin. If you notice, there is no mention of rebuilding in chapter one. As a matter of fact, there is a minimum of 90 days before there is a mention of rebuilding.  The intervening time is spent by Nehemiah fasting and praying. Those 90 days of fasting and praying I believe were the fertile ground of clarity.

After the ninety days when he spoke to the king and answered his question, it was a complete and well thought out plan. He had worked out the details in his mind he probably had made a business plan on paper. He had thought this out so completely he probably new the color of the gates. He was so well prepared he was able to give a timeline for completion. That is clarity.

I want that clarity. I do not know about anyone else, but I want to be able to say I am going to accomplish this in this specific time because God has made it so clear to me. But am I willing to remove the trash that is inhibiting my lines of communication with God? Nehemiah’s methodology is not complicated. First, he prayed, fasted and cried about the situation. Then he identified a need then he was burdened to alleviate the need. Then he turned to God. Then he repented. Then he reminded God of his promise. Then clarity came. It really is simple. But are we willing to employ this simple methodology?

The thing is we cannot skip the steps. We cannot go directly from getting rid of the trash to reminding God of his promises. We want clarity, instead of trying to figure it out all on our own, why don’t we first turn to God and begin this process. 

It is your business. As businesspeople we are willing to invest money, time, effort, we are willing to consult wise counselors. We are willing to go to seminars buy books study business trends. We are willing to do anything we can to acquire clarity for our business. For us to know what is next. And here we have this clear example of how to obtain clarity.

In 2. Psalm 32:8 it says,

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

The writer of this verse is saying God will teach you He will direct you in the way you should go. But is there so much noise in your life you cannot hear Him. If your business is not were it should be or where you want it to be, are you consulting God? Nehemiah begins the process by first turning to God.

Nehemiah changed his life and the lives of the remnant of Israel and so many others in approximately five months. Three of those months was spent praying and fasting while working, he was the king’s cup bearer. There is no reason we cannot develop a plan that will include praying and fasting for your business. God says, He will instruct us, but we must clear the lines of communication and repentance is the only way to remove that which hinders us.

Is it possible if we employ what Nehemiah did, that in 5 months, we to can be changing lives with our business? This is all about putting God first in your business and life because your business is inseparably intertwined to your life.

Would you be happy if you had specific clarity in your life?

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Asking God to Bless and Provide for Your Business

Asking God to Bless and Provide for Your Business

Nehemiah 2:6

Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time. 

This is the story of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem. Let me give you a quick synopsis of the story. Nehemiah hears about the condition of the promised land specifically about the walls and gates being torn down and burned. He is in distress about the situation. And ask the king to allow him to rebuild the walls. 

I am going to focus a few things. First, is the call or the motivation of Nehemiah. Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the gates and walls of Jerusalem. When I looked at this story this is what came to mind. Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem because he felt it was unacceptable for the walls of Jerusalem to be in shambles. The rebuilding of the walls and the gates of Jerusalem was not a God commanded pursuit. God did not command Nehemiah to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem. He was not called, appointed or instructed to take this burden on.

So, what does Nehemiah do? First, he repents he confesses his and his people’s sin and asks God to forgive him and grant him favor with the king. You want to see your business blessed, repent. If you read the first chapter of Nehemiah, you will find that he prays and repents. Then he reminds God of His promise to return His people to the promised land.

He then fasts and prays about rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem. He is not fasting about healing, forgiveness, clarity or even a closer relationship with God. He is fasting to build walls and gates. When was the last time you fasted about your business? Make no mistake about he is praying about a business enterprise. If you read the story it says he fasted and prayed for a long time. From the time he heard about the condition of the walls and the gates to the time he spoke to the king was a minimum of 90 days. He did not fast 90 days, but I believe he spent a considerable amount of the intervening time in prayer and fasting. Again, not for repentance nor for the return of Israel to the promise land, he prayed God would give him favor so he could go and rebuild the gates.

During this time of praying and fasting He develops a strategic and operational plan to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem. And then he waits for the appropriate time to make his desire known to the king. While you are fasting and praying over your business are you preparing a strategic and operational plan for your enterprise?

When He asks the king, what is the first thing the king asks him, the only recorded thing the king asks him. How long will you be gone? Nehemiah gives him and exact time. This struck me as a “aha” moment. He did not say well I think if everything goes according to plan, if all the stars line up, if the wind blows in the right direction then we will be able to completed it in a year or maybe two.  No, it says he gave him a definite time.

When you ask God for something do you give him a definite time? Nehemiah was able to give the king a definite time frame because he had prepared a plan to accomplish his goal. He was not guessing he was not fudging he was not postulating he had carefully laid out a plan to accomplish what he needed to do. The question of how long, is not so that God will know when you will need His help. The answer to the question of how long, illustrates to God how prepared you are for his provision and blessing.  It answers the question, how well have you planned for your goal. The time lets God know you are ready for His provision because you have planned and integrated Gods provision into your plan. How do I know that?

Nehemiah does not just ask the king’s for permission to go. He also asked him for provisions to accomplish his goal. The truth is he had already asked God for provision in chapter one of Nehemiah. Nehemiah understood Gods provision was not going to fall out of the sky it had to come through some one and that someone is the king.

Nehemiah not only asks for physical provision and protection he asks for governmental authority to fulfill his call. He is asking the king or in modern terms the president for letters of authority to accomplish his objective and the king grants him his request.

This is a very fast-moving story. He gets permission sets out to accomplish his goal and completes it in 52 days.The provision of God did not make it easy to accomplish His goal. As a matter of fact, he was under constant and formidable opposition to his building the walls from the authorities in the area. He had area leaders who were intent on forcing him to quit to go back to the king with his tale tucked between his legs.

What is important to understand about the opposition is, whenever you are receiving Gods favor expect opposition. Expect people from right around you to be opposed to Gods will in you. Nehemiah’s opposition though directed at him was not personal, against him, it was personal against the Spirit of God in him. When you are being opposed recognize that it is not personal against you it is personal against the Spirit of God in you.

While they were building the wall, one was the guard while the other was the laborer. At times, the labors and the guards were one and the same. Building with one hand while holding a weapon with the other. Asking God for favor in your business may require you to be the soldier while simultaneously being the leader of the enterprise.

Nehemiah asked for favor for his business enterprises and he received it. But along with the favor came the opposition to the will of God in him. God had provided for him throughout the enterprise but still Nehemiah had to fight for his dream. He had to struggle, sacrifice and lead in the most trying times. 

Lest we get the wrong impression of Nehemiah, Nehemiah was the kings cup bearer. Not an administrator, builder, leader or a business titan.  God heard his prayer, his repentant heart and the desire of his heart and God raised him to the task.

Are you as determined as convinced in your enterprises that you are willing to fast for it? Yes, we pray and ask God’s favor, but do we go the extra step and actually fast over it. I have been a Christian for over 40 years, and I have never had, I do not remember anyone telling me I needed to fast for my business. Yet here we have Nehemiah doing exactly that with amazing results.

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Business Mindset

Business Mindset

Business MindsetPhilippians 2:5 (KJV)5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:1 Corinthians 2:16 – For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 – But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.
Philippians 2:5 – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
1 Corinthians 2:13-16 – Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
These verses speak of the mind of Christ. Now let’s not get supper spiritual here and decide the mind of Christ is something that can only be accessed in the mystical or supernatural realm. Let’s not assign this to the theoretical realm of Christianity. Were we understand things spiritually but do not apply them physically. Let’s not say that the mind of Christ is not obtainable in the natural realm. Christ came as the embodiment of the trinity. He exercised the attributes of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is an example of what we are to be.
Jesus said, “John 14:12-13 (NIV)12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.We are charged with doing as he did. But how do we do that? How do we” do even greater things than these” We need to access the mind of Christ.In John 1:1 is says 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made.
I would like to concentrate on the last clause of these sentences “without him nothing was made that has been made.” This is an amazing statement, in a Ruben Figueroa paraphrase it is saying everything we see, everything in heaven and on earth was created by Him. It also means everything we see on earth and in heaven belongs to Him. It was created by him and it belongs to him. He has more resources than everyone needs to accomplish what they are called to accomplish. We as individuals need to walk and live in this reality. There are very few people who are aware of this reality. Christian or not very few people even have a glimpse into this area of thought.
Elon Musk lives in this reality and I don’t think he is a Christian. He believes that every endeavor in which he is involved, the resources will come. He is involved in 8 major industries and having an impact on all of them. 1. Energy2. Automotive3. Telecommunications: 4. Transportation: 5. Infrastructure/Tunneling: 6. Aerospace/Airlines: 7. AI: 8. Healthcare:
Here is a man who to my knowledge does not know Christ but is practicing what every Christian should be practicing. He believes he can find the resources he needs to accomplish his desires.
We have the mind of Christ or at least we should be aware of the mind of Christ. We should be accessing the realm of provision through the Holy Spirit to accomplish what we have been called to do. If Elon Musk can believe in the provision for resolution of obstacles in the natural what should we be accomplishing with the mind of Christ? It all goes back to Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. We must renew our minds by accessing the Holy Spirit of God. I am not talking about having faith because you can’t begin to access the Holy Spirit without faith. I am not talking about believing because if you don’t believe you can’t get to the Holy Spirit. I am not talking about taking action that alone will not access the Holy Spirit. The shift in our minds must be something completely different. Yes, faith is a prerequisite as is believing. But we need to move to a new place, it is akin to expecting but it is all about receiving. Expecting is required but receiving is what makes the difference. We must become expectant receivers of God’s provision.
Everyone who has accomplished anything walks in this reality and they don’t even realize it. I believe that God has instituted various laws in our world which everyone is subject to. Laws that we can access if we do what is required and they are applicable to anyone who obeys them. That is why people like Elon Musk are successful. Because they operate within the laws of God knowingly or unknowingly. As long as anyone taps into God’s laws, they will reap the benefits of God’s provision.
People like Musk tap into something they don’t recognize or realize, but what about us? We have the Holy Spirit to guide us provide for us to protect us. We insist on providing for our selves we insist on not connecting with the Holy Spirit for all things.
How different would our lives be our business be if we were in total connection and submission to the Holy Spirit. What if we renewed our minds to be in continues expectation and reception with the Holy Spirit of God? If we consciously connect with the Holy Spirit in all things.
To walk in expectation not out of greed but out of conscious willingness to communion with God. What if we were to walk with an attitude of reception. I expect God to provide me with the solution to my problem and I will receive it because He has already provided it for me. What if we were to walk around every day expecting and receiving the blessings of God because He wants to bless us. Because the world is lost or won on our ability to receive.
We operate in faith, but we have victory through an attitude that says my God has provided for me. If we lived convinced God has provided for us, we but need to accept it. It is not expecting God will do, it is believing that he has done. It is already done. Whatever you need has been done by God for you. Will you receive what has been completed for you? We don’t need to ask for miracles we need to ask for eyes to be opened so, we can see the miracle which has already happened. All we need to do is have eyes that can see, ears that can hear and hearts that can receive the blessings of God.
To be saved we must receive, accept what Christ has done for us on the cross. That pattern is our salvation, not just to eternal life but with every single thing in our lives we must receive everything he has done for us.
Constantly our world is finding solutions for the problems before us. Think of NASA they did what had never been done by creating problems that did not exist and then finding solutions for problems that didn’t exist to put men on the moon. In every field of endeavor, the same thing is happening it is a pattern that is as old as humanity. We as Christians have the unique ability to know where the answers come from and with this knowledge, we can change the path of our lives for the glory of God.
In Isaiah 43: 18-19 it says,
18 “Do not call to mind the former things,Or ponder things of the past.19 Behold, I will do something new,Now it will spring forth;Will you not be aware of it?I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,Rivers in the desert.

Business Mindset

Philippians 2:5 (KJV)

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

1 Corinthians 2:16 – For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 – But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.  

Philippians 2:5 – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

1 Corinthians 2:13-16 – Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

These verses speak of the mind of Christ. Now let’s not get supper spiritual here and decide the mind of Christ is something that can only be accessed in the mystical or supernatural realm. Let’s not assign this to the theoretical realm of Christianity. Were we understand things spiritually but do not apply them physically. Let’s not say that the mind of Christ is not obtainable in the natural realm.  

Jesus said, “John 14:12-13 (NIV)12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Christ came as the embodiment of the trinity. He exercised the attributes of the Father Son and Holy spirit. He is an example of what we are to be.

We are charge with doing as he did. But how do we do that? How do we” do even greater things than these” We need to access the mind of Christ.

In John 1:1 is says 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

I would like to concentrate on the last clause of these sentences “without him nothing was made that has been made.” This is an amazing statement, in a Ruben Figueroa paraphrase it is saying everything we see, everything in heaven and on earth was created by Him. It also means everything we see on earth and in heaven belongs to Him. It was created by him and it belongs to him. He has more resources than everyone needs to accomplish what they are called to accomplish. We as individuals need to walk and live in this reality. There are very few people who are aware of this reality. Christian or not very few people even have a glimpse into this area of thought.

Elon Musk lives in this reality and I don’t think he is a Christian. He believes that every endeavor in which he is involved in, the resources will come. He is involved in 8 major industries and having an impact in all of them. 

  1. Energy
  2. Automotive
  3. Telecommunications: 
  4. Transportation: 
  5. Infrastructure/Tunneling: 
  6. Aerospace/Airlines: 
  7. AI: 
  8. Healthcare: 

Here is a man who to my knowledge does not know Christ but is practicing what every Christian should practicing. He believes he can find the resources he needs to accomplish his desires.

We have the mind of Christ or at least we should be aware of the mind of Christ. We should be accessing the realm of provision through the Holy spirit to accomplish what we have been called to do. If Elon Musk can believe in the provision for resolution of obstacles in the natural what should we be accomplishing with the mind of Christ.

It all goes back to Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
 

We must renew our minds by accessing the Holy Spirit of God. I am not taking about having faith because you can’t begin to access the Holy Spirit without faith.  Am not talking about believing because if you don’t believe you can’t get to the Holy Spirit. I am not talking about taking action that alone will not access the Holy Spirit. The shift in our minds must be something completely different. Yes, faith is a prerequisite as is believing. But we need to move to a new place, it is akin to expecting but it is all about receiving. Expecting is required but receiving is what makes the difference. We must become expectant receivers of Gods provision.

Everyone who has accomplished anything walk in this reality and they don’t even realize it. I believe that God has instituted various laws in our world which everyone is subject to. Laws which we can access if we do what is required and they are applicable to anyone who obeys them.  That is why people like Elon Musk are successful. Because they operate within the laws of God knowingly or unknowingly. As long as anyone taps into Gods laws, they will reap the benefits of Gods provision.

People like Musk tap into something they don’t recognize or realize, but what about us? We have the Holy Spirit to guide us provide for us protect us.  We insist on providing for our selves we insist on not connecting with the Holy Spirit for all things.

How different would our lives be our business be if we were in total connection and submission to the Holy Spirit. What if we renewed our minds to be in continues expectation and reception with the Holy Spirit of God? If we consciously connect with the Holy Spirit in all things.

To walk in expectation not out of greed but out of conscious willingness to communion with God. What if we were to walk with an attitude of reception. I expect God to provide me with the solution to my problem and I will receive it because He has already provided it for me. What if we were to walk around everyday expecting and receiving the blessings of God because He wants to bless us. Because the world is lost or won on our ability to receive.

We operate in faith, but we have victory through an attitude that says my God has provided for me.  If we lived convinced God has provided for us, we but need to accept it. It is not expecting God will do, it is believing that he has done. It is already done. What ever you need has been done by God for you. Will you receive what has been completed for you?

We don’t need to ask for miracles we need to ask for eyes to be opened so, we can see the miracle which has already happened. All we need to do is have eyes that can see, ears that can hear and hearts that can receive the blessings of God.

To be saved we must receive, accept what Christ done for us on the cross. That pattern is our salvation, not just to eternal life but with every single thing in our lives we must receive everything he has done for us.

Constantly our world is finding solutions for the problems before us. Think of NASA they did what had never been done by creating problems that did not exist and then finding solutions for problems that didn’t exist to put men on the moon. In every field of endeavor the same thing is happening it is a pattern that is as old as humanity.

We as Christians have the unique ability to know were the answers come from and with this knowledge, we can change the path of our lives for the glory of God.

In Isaiah 43: 18-19 it says,

18 “Do not call to mind the former things,

Or ponder things of the past.

19 Behold, I will do something new,

Now it will spring forth;

Will you not be aware of it?

I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,

Rivers in the desert.

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Need

Something to Think About

Need

45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:45 (NIV)

Why did Jesus come? There are a plethora of answers to this question because he fulfilled so many aspects of our lives. He came undoubtedly to save us, to redeem us to restore us to reclaim us to justify to sanctify us to forgive us. He accomplished so much for us we may have overlooked the reason he came. We look at his accomplishments and think these are the reasons He came.

Jesus came for one reason. He came because we needed Him. He came to fulfill a need we could not fulfill ourselves.  Jesus came to satisfy a debt we could not pay. Everything else is the outpouring of His grace and love.

Jesus came to satisfy a singular need our indebtedness. He accomplished everything else in the fulfillment of our need. None of the other blessings are available if our need for payment is not met. His purpose on the earth was precipitated by our need. We cannot be forgiven, saved, sanctified, justified, claimed, adopted and restore if the debt is not paid. Everything we hope for is dependent on the books being balanced. 

If Jesus is our, example and we are to be His followers, we must do as he did. Now we know we cannot make payment for our own sin much less for anyone else’s, but we can emulate Christ in His basic purpose for coming. We can meet the need of our fellow man.

We have been taught to follow our dreams, to dream big, to reach for the stars. We have been encouraged to follow our passion. To follow your heart. To bless our fellow man. Which is all good but has anyone ever told you to emulate Christ in following His example to fulfill a need.  We have been putting the cart before the horse.

What need are you fulfilling that will bring people to Christ? You want passion, you want purpose, you want a fire that never goes out, find a need. Your purpose, passion, dreams, energy life will be infused with power if you can find the need God has placed you on this earth to fulfill.

All God’s blessing come after the satisfaction of your debt. You may look around the world and say look at all those who have prospered. I say to you it is all counterfeit. Because in the end they will be called to account and their bank account will be empty.

You want the blessing of God find the need you were born, created to fulfill. God does have a purpose for your life, but the purpose is dependent on the need., If you don’t know what the need is there is no purpose.    

I pray you would ask God to show you the need you were created for it will change your life.

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I Am With You Always

I Am Always With You

Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Matthew 28:20 ESV 

Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

These are two of the many verses that state the promise of God that says I will be with you always. 

That means God will be with you 24 hours a day. Not only when you are lonely, or alone, or in trouble, or in joy, it means always. It means God has made you a promise. What makes God’s promise’s awesome is not that they are wonderful it is that they are unstoppable. In other words, He does not need or want your permission to keep them.  He said he will always be with you He means he will always be with you.

If God has promised to be with you it means no matter where you find yourself, He is with you. It means when you are on the job, He is with you. It means when you’re on your job you are holy. You are holy because He is holy. Which means what you have been called to do is holy. The occupation regardless of what it is, is holy.  Of course, I am speaking to those who have responded to the call of God and have submitted to his sovereignty.

If you have chosen to live apart from God, God is still with you, but you are not Holy because you are living outside the will of God. No matter what you do it will not be holy because you have rejected the one that makes all things holy.

I write this in hopes of changing the paradigm of my thought process as well as yours. How does the knowledge of knowing that God is with you always change the outlook of your life? Everything you do in your life should have the influence of holiness because the God of creation is with you.

What are the possibilities when you get in line with the God of creation? What good and perfect gifts can you receive when you are cognizant of the giver. I, you can access the blessing of God by simply recognizing Him – God daily because He will always be with you. The promise He made is not dependent on you. It is totally and completely dependent on Him. If you don’t know, God cannot lie. He is with me now as I write this, and he is with you now when you read this.

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The Value Of A Talent

How much is a talent worth?

Some authorities say that the talent typically weighed about 33 kg (75 lb) varying from 20 to 40 kg. In June, 2018, the international price of gold was about US$41,155.69 per kilogram. One gram costs about $38. At this price, a talent (33 kg) would be worth about $1,400,116.57. https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talent_(weight)

According to Wikipedia

Matthew 25:15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. The value of the talent is often ignored when this parable is explained or expounded upon. I would like to focus on the value. In today’s world, the one who received the five talents would have won the lottery. Five talents would be worth upwards of seven million dollars. The one who received two talents would have received nearly 3 million dollars and the one that received one talent received nearly one and a half million dollars.

As I think about this parable and consider the value of what each one received it significantly changes the implications of the parable. I now understand that we are talking an enormous amount of money as well as an enormous amount of responsibility. This is not simply about stewardship it goes well beyond stewardship. Yes, it is obvious that wise stewardship is required to manage such great wealth but there is so much more.

He gave each of his servants a huge amount of money which means he had unquestionable faith in those he entrusted with his wealth. Can you imagine the level of belief he had in his servants to give them that amount of money? He gave them a great deal of money even the one who received one talent. The value of the talents reflects the value of the servant. He would not have given that amount of money just to anyone. He would have to believe in, trust and value the recipients of the money.

This parable is not about the money it is about the servant. Who is worthy to receive the goodness of God? The talents are used to indicate the value of the servant not the value of the money. These three servants were trusted above all others, Above the bankers, the family, the religious leaders, above everyone. Notice the servants are not identified, not by position, occupation, experience or breeding. The servants could have been identified by what they had been trained to do. They are intentionally not identified to exemplify the importance of servanthood. Here is the question, are you a servant, God can believe in and entrust with the value of His kingdom?

Next week according to their abilities.

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The Talents

I am witting a series on the parable of the talents. I will add a piece every week as it is a work in progress and people tend not to read articles of any length.

““For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.”

Matthew 25:14 NKJV

https://www.bible.com/114/mat.25.14.nkjv

Who was the traveler? In sermons, I have heard or in commentaries I’ve read no one explains who the traveler is. It is essential because at the end of the day the traveler is the one making the final decisions. I think the traveler is Jesus. Because in this parable the traveler leaves his country of origin. Jesus the Son of God was born on Earth He died was resurrected and left the earth and is now seated at the right hand of God.

So, Jesus being the traveler called his own servants. Notice it does not say he called his own people or called the Jews it says he called His own servants. This is extremely important because it sets the stage for the rest of the story. He is specific about who he called. He is not calling just anyone, he is only calling His servants only those he can trust. He could have said a few trusted Jews, He could have said His inner circle or His most trusted advisors, but He didn’t, He said His own servants.

To these few servants he entrusts His goods. As I read it, I get the impression that Jesus is giving His carefully chosen servants the responsibility taking care of His estate. He hands over his goods to them. 

Let’s make this current. Your leaving on a journey for an extended period of time and you cannot take your considerable wealth with you. Who would you trust with it? You can leave it with a bank but as you know the return will be minimal at best and in the long term you may actually lose value if you left it to bankers. ( The religious elites ) Or you can leave it to a few trusted servants.

This is the problem in this parable who is Jesus going to leave, entrust the gospel to. He can’t leave such an important message to the religious authorities because they have proven to be corrupt and self-serving. So He decides to leave the gospel in the hands who those who have believed.

At this point, some of you are saying this parable is about money, isn’t it? Yes, it is definitely about money. However, my experience with God is that He does not work linearly. By that I mean he is not limited to sequential events as we are. He can work in all directions simultaneously. As in a sermon. If you ask what everyone hearing the same sermon understood from that sermon you would hear different interpretations. Some of which were not at all intended by the speaker. But all interpretations are correct. Because God is working on all people simultaneously with their specific issues and each one is receiving what they need at that time.

Next time the value of the talent.

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