Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

Posts Tagged ‘people’

100 Biblical Commands from the Mouth of Jesus

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 11, 2009


I quickly went through the New Testament and wrote out the 100 commands given by Jesus himself.    I define a command as a sentence that begins with an action word (e.g. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…”).   I try not to repeat commands or list commands given for a specific reason to an individual that doesn’t generally apply to us today (e.g. “Go!”, said to the demons in the possessed man of Matthew 8). Enjoy and feel free to comment on any left out.

By the way, as you read it, imagine that He is saying these things directly to you… kinda humbling.aslan

  1. Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. – Matthew 4:10
  2. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. – Matthew 4:17
  3. Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men – Matthew 4:19
  4. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven (when people persecute you for Jesus sake) – Matthew 5:12
  5. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven – Matthew 5:16
  6. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (in regard to worshiping God) – Matthew 5:23
  7. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. – Matthew 5:25
  8. Gouge it out and throw it away (if your eye causes you to sin) – Matthew 5:29
  9. Cut it off and throw it away (if you hand causes you to sin) – Matthew 5:30
  10. Do not swear at all (in making oaths) – Matthew 5:34
  11. Do not resist an evil person. – Matthew 5:39
  12. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. – Matthew 5:42
  13. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you – Matthew 5:44
  14. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5:48
  15. Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them – Matthew 6:1
  16. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing (when giving) – Matthew 6:3
  17. Go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen (when you pray, not being like the hypocrites that make a big deal out of praying) – Matthew 6:6
  18. Do not look somber as the hypocrites do… put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting –  Matthew 6:17,18
  19. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth – Matthew 6:19
  20. Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven – Matthew 6:20
  21. Do not worry about your life – Matthew 6:25
  22. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33
  23. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. – Matthew 6:34
  24. Do not judge, or you too will be judged. – Matthew 7:1
  25. First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  – Matthew 7:4
  26. Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. – Matthew 7:6
  27. Ask and it will be given to you; – Matthew 7:7
  28. seek and you will find; – Matthew 7:7
  29. knock and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7
  30. Do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets – Matthew 7:12
  31. Enter through the narrow gate. – Matthew 7:13
  32. Watch out for false prophets. –  Matthew 7:15
  33. Go! It will be done just as you believed it would. (To the centurion because of his faith)- Matthew 8:13
  34. Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead. – Matthew 8:22
  35. Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven. – Matthew 9:2
  36. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. – Matthew 9:38
  37. Be on your guard against men – Matthew 10:17
  38. Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. (when you are arrested) – Matthew 10:19
  39. Do not be afraid of them (those that persecute you) – Matthew 10:26
  40. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. – Matthew 10:28
  41. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.- Matthew 11:28,29
  42. Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid. (to the disciples in the boat)- Matthew 14:27
  43. Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. – Matthew 16:5
  44. Get behind me, Satan! –  Matthew 16:23
  45. Go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you (if your brother sins against you) – Matthew 18:15
  46. Take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (If your brother that sins against you does not repent) – Matthew 18:16
  47. Tell it to the church – (If your brother that sins against you still doesn’t repent) – Matthew 18:17
  48. Treat him as a pagan – (If your brother still refuses to repent) – Matthew 18:17
  49. Seventy-seven times (number of times in a day you should forgive someone) –  Matthew 18:22
  50. Let man not separate. (What God has brought together in marriage) – Matthew 19:6
  51. Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. – Matthew 19:14
  52. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. (on giving) – Matthew 22:21
  53. You are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. – Matthew 23:8
  54. Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. – Matthew 24:4,5
  55. learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. (being aware of the end times) – Matthew 24:32,33
  56. Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. – Matthew 24:42
  57. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. – Matthew 26:40
  58. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. – Matthew 28:19
  59. Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. – Mark 6:31
  60. Listen to him! (God speaking to the disciples about Jesus) – Mark 9:7
  61. Have faith in God – Mark 11:22
  62. Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. – Mark 16:15
  63. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you – Luke 6:28
  64. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful – Luke 6:36
  65. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned – Luke 6:37
  66. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37
  67. Give, and it will be given to you. – Luke 6:38
  68. Peace be with you. – Luke 24:36
  69. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. – John 5:14
  70. Stop grumbling among yourselves – John 6:43
  71. Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment. – John 7:24
  72. Go now and leave your life of sin. – John 8:11
  73. Take away the stone. – John 11:38
  74. Leave her alone – John 12:7
  75. Father, glorify your name! – John 12:28
  76. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light. – John 12:36
  77. What you are about to do, do quickly – John 13:27
  78. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34
  79. Do not let your hearts be troubled. – John 14:1
  80. Trust in God; – John 14:1
  81. trust also in me. – John 14:1
  82. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me – John 14:11
  83. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. – John 15:4
  84. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. – John 16:24
  85. Receive the Holy Spirit. – John 20:22
  86. Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some. – John 21:6
  87. Feed my lambs – John 21:15
  88. “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. – Acts 1:4
  89. Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. – Revelation 1:11
  90. Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. – Revelation 1:17
  91. Remember the height from which you have fallen! –  Revelation 2:5
  92. Repent and do the things you did at first. – Revelation 2:5
  93. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. – Revelation 2:10
  94. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. – Revelation 2:10
  95. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. – Revelation 2:16
  96. Wake up! – Revelation 3:2
  97. Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. – Revelation 3:2
  98. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. – Revelation 3:18
  99. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Revelation 3:22
  100. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. – Revelation 22:20

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How to Follow when you want to Lead

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 9, 2009


Biblegateway Scripture of the day

It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. – Deuteronomy 13:4

You won’t find here or in Scripture where God tells us to “follow our dreams” or “follow your heart” or “at least your intentions were good.” God is pretty straight forward, “Follow Him!” There just isn’t any other way.

“Follow me” was Jesus’ first call to his disciples, and it is that very thing that is so difficult.  There are things that stand in the way:

  • Pride and personal ambition
  • Fear that we won’t get to choose our path or that the path God has is too hard
  • Control is gone.  – God want’s to be the pilot, not the co-pilot. If he’s in charge, we can’t be.

However, as difficult as it may seem, there are ways to overcome these hindrances.

First, realize that God is not out to get you but to complete you.  There is a work he wants to do in each and every one of us to complete us and make us more into the image of his Son.  Realize that if all “falls apart” according to what you define as “falling apart” while following God, but you become more like Christ, you are really being put together.

Second, let go! The hardest thing to do is simply going to God before making decisions in life.  Pray for wisdom and patience and that he will direct your decision making by giving you the will to do what he wants and by closing the door to the places he wants you to avoid while opening the doors to the areas in which he wants to lead you.

Note: a lot more of your prayers will be answered if you pray God’s will.  The secret to prayer is how you ask and what you ask for.  God will give the wisdom by which to make the decision, but you have to submit to asking him first while at the same time, putting your will aside.

Finally, (it’s only final as far as this article is concerned) Love God.  You aren’t going to want to follow someone you don’t love.

“Yeah, I know he’s God, but he’s always making my life so difficult...”; people think like this all the time, and it comes from a lack of truly loving God for who he is first.  A lot of the pieces of your life will fall into place if you just love him.

Jesus asked Peter before he ascended back to the Father, “Do you love me?”  Jesus knew the answer, Peter just needed to figure it out. That is the question you need to be honest about asking yourself.  If you can’t be sure, you aren’t spending the time with him that you need to build a proper relationship.  Take the time today and learn to follow.

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Prayer the Nehemiah Way, Part 7 of 8

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 5, 2009


Part 6

The last two prayers Nehemiah prays speak to our motives. Motives have to be the most important point of reference for any prayer.

When you pray ask yourself, “Why am I praying? Am I praying for personal gain?  Do I spend the majority of my prayer time praying for me?  Do I pray mostly for others?  Do I spend most of my time simply worshipping God?

Prayer is at its core, a conversation.  If you dominate the conversation, then you aren’t getting all you should be getting out of the relationship. So don’t just make it about you.

Remember them, O my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites. – Nehemiah 13:29

There were a lot of reasons Nehemiah could have given God to take care of his enemies.  He could have told God to remember how they treated him and the people; he could have told them about the time Sanballat ridiculed and verbally abused him, but he didn’t. Nehemiah focused his prayer on God’s work, not his own.

Nothing in Nehemiah’s prayer showed any essence of “revenge”; it only showed, “God, they are coming against you, take care of them accordingly.”

It was about the plan of God, not his own suffering or retribution.  Nehemiah knew that if he wanted a prayer answered, he should pray the will of God and not his own.  What was his motive in this prayer?  It’s all about God!

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What’s a Believer to do about our Political Situation?

Posted by undergroundchurch on August 29, 2009


Intro:

This article is a bit longer than normal, and certainly more political than most of the ones I publish, but I felt such an urgency to write it that it kept me up half the night.  I finally succumbed to the drive to write and woke up at 5 AM on a Saturday morning to put it all down… That in itself should tell you something.

The UnderGroundChurch Pupose:

The purpose of the UnderGroundChurch is to prepare the church and anyone seeking God for the days ahead which include new methods of doing church in an increasingly hostile environment and understanding the environment from prophetic angle so that as things occur in our American society, we can take hope that no matter what actually happens in America, two things are always true:

1)      America, as great as she once was and to some degree still is, is not the center of God’s plan.

2)      God has a plan that will unfold.  It will be messy, and that is by design.  It is not to be feared if you are a believer, but to be embraced as a time of refining, rebuilding, reorganizing and revival in the church. 

The Dream:

Last night, I dreamt of a changing world.  It was such a powerful dream that I still remember every detail of it, which for me is extremely rare.  The following is that dream.

My family and I just installed a pool at the house (that’s the good part, hope that it comes true someday). As we are swimming in the rather frigid waters, I was talking of creating a solar heater system to make the water somewhat bearable.  As we were conversing, two rocket ship like objects blasted out of the earth about a mile away in town.  They looked almost alien in their appearance with technologies that couldn’t be manmade.

They landed on the town, sprouted four legs each and began a journey that lead them straight toward us.  As they walked along, their powerful pace and frightening appearance cause everyone around to pause in fear.  I looked to the street where some military vehicles pulled up.  I was set back by their inactivity; I mean, they are the military here to protect us, so why weren’t they shooting it or something?

I walked over to them after the craft stepped over our house, and as I approached, I saw them waving green flags that had a camouflage pattern.  This certainly intrigued me, so I asked them what they were doing. Their answer literally woke me from my slumber.

The soldier there told me that everyone would be issued three flags.  As the robot like crafts passed by, you were to wave the flag that represented your support for our government.  The first flag was the one the soldiers were waving.  It represented support for the current government.  The camouflaged nature of the flag meant that your support didn’t necessarily mean you agreed with everything, but that you wouldn’t do anything about it even if you didn’t agree; therefore, your support was implied, and you were safe.

The second flag was white with some symbols I didn’t recognize in a circle in the middle.  The white flag told the alien looking craft that you were a believer, and that you wanted to practice your faith.  You were committing to practice your faith in so far as you didn’t speak against the current system of government, and that you weren’t going to make any waves.  You were just going to be spiritually minded and not concerned with the political or social environment around you.

The final flag was red. This represented you as a rebel to the ways of the government and that you opposed the direction the government was taking and that you were willing to fight for freedom.

In the absence of waving a flag, the default interpretation of your intention was that you were a “red flag waver”.  A red flag waver was the enemy and would be captured or killed on site to preserve the new American way of life.

Waking Thoughts:

As I awoke, I reviewed the dream and was reminded of a speech almost a half-century ago in 1961 that Ronald Reagan gave about the threat that lay before the American people.  This speech, which I was reminded of recently and which I have posted below, coupled with the changing times made me think of the challenge before the believer.  Do we get involved?  If so, how involved do we get?

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence:

  • from bondage to spiritual faith
  • from spiritual faith to great courage
  • from courage to liberty
  • from liberty to abundance
  • from abundance to selfishness
  • from selfishness to complacency
  • from complacency to apathy
  • from apathy to dependency
  • from dependency back to bondage.

—unknown

The Constitution was given as a framework of the nation for two reasons:

1)      To limit the powers of the federal government, giving governmental powers not specifically granted in the Constitution to the state governments (see the unenforced 10th Ammendment)

2)      To protect the citizenry of this great nation for a government that, by design, seeks to grow its power, intrude in people’s lives, oppress its people and in the end, control everything – thus ending our republic (See the first 10 Amendments, a.k.a. the Bill of Rights)

The Bill of Rights aren’t freedoms granted by the government for us, they are our protection measures given to protect us from an out of control government.  Over the past 50 years, those rights have been diluted by ideologies foreign to the framer’s original intent.  The Constitution is no longer a framework, but an obstacle.  Freedom is no longer a right by default, it is a privilege given to a few.

What is Our Precedent?

Again, I ask, “So what is the believer to do?”  Is there Biblical precedent to do anything? Is their historical precedent to do anything?

Biblically speaking, there is a precedent.  Nations don’t just popup out of thin air, they are made.  God made a nation called Israel with rules, laws and ceremonies to govern their activities.  It wasn’t just a gathering of people to worship him; it was a nation under God to be governed by the will of God.

In the New Testament, there is not much political precedent to “rebuild” government, but rather an underground approach to change the hearts and mind of the leaders.  God wasn’t building a church-state, but a people whose hearts were bent toward him.

Paul actually sacrificed his freedom, rights and dignity for the chance to change the heart of Caesar.  He willingly was led captive to Rome so that in the hopes of real change, he might show the leader of the world the love and power of a humble Messiah; any governmental change would have been a byproduct of that change in the heart of Caesar.

Two hundred and thirty-three years ago, a group of God fearing, Bible believing men made a choice to break from a tyrannical king to create a new nation with the hope of freedom.  It cost many, many lives to establish that new nation, and many more to keep it, but in the end, it became one nation, under God which impacted the world in ways never before seen.

What makes the founding of this nation unique is that never before was a nation created by the people for the people.  It was designed specifically to allow for the people to drive the growth of the nation.  It was not the intention of the framers to take on power over people but to empower the people.  Freedom was granted to the people and only the people could choose to give it away.

What next?

This is a tough question to answer.  At what point does out nation cross that line where the vote no longer works, where freedom is gone, where society is lost to government control, where the “American dream” for a brighter future gives way to an “American memory” of what once was?

A day may come when the people’s voices are no longer heard and a rebellion foreseen as possible by the framers of our nation actually manifests. That day I believe is sure to come as long as a thirst for freedom still exists in our nation.

This is a possible outcome, but is not necessary if we can take action while our voice is not silenced.  We are believers first, but as believers in America, we are obligate to work hard to set a tone for America. 

In setting that tone, we must always understand that you can’t legislate morality, virtue and character.  You can’t “make” people believe in God; you can’t force your opinions on others.  Unfortunately, the government is not bent that way and because they are men and women given power, they can be corrupted and lose sight of why they are there in the first place… to defend freedom.

We must fight for the hearts and minds of the American people.  That is our first call.  You don’t legislate change, but you can inspire people.  If the last campaign taught us anything, it taught us the power of inspiration. 

The Political Tone:

President Obama won the election without telling anybody what he actually believed, how he was actually going to do anything, without any opposition, without any leadership or governing experience, without any executive or military experience.  He won with one word, “change”, which in itself doesn’t say anything.  However, the word spoke to people because they wanted something different, and they didn’t really care what it was as long as it wasn’t the status quo.  They were voting against the current circumstances, not for the direction that has been set in the past 8 months.

He has set a tone in our government not seen in this country in 50 years.  The tone is one that has been tried for over 100 years and has failed every time it is implemented.  But what it speaks to is the destruction of our political infrastructure, our freedom and our way of life.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties do not exist today.  The Democrats have been taken over by the minority extremists in their party that seek to undermine the whole point of our Constitutional government. The party of JFK, fiscally conservative, socially balanced and defenders of national freedom, has given way to liberal extremism, apologizing to the world for being a leading nation that stands up for absolute truth in the face of relativistic ideology.

The Republican Party has lost its voice, its power and its conservative roots.  The party of Lincoln and Reagan is now leaderless, and the leaders that try to step up are either spineless or shut down by pseudo leaders and the media.

Real Change:

The only political change you can believe in is change back to the system that actually works and not an experiment that has repeatedly failed.  There is a swell of opposition to the current direction of our nation because of legitimate fears that our freedom, our way of life and our history will become a memory. 

As believers in Jesus, we can capture this wave of change and fight to win the hearts and minds of the people, not just for political reasons, but for eternal reasons. 

“By our apathy, by our acquiescence, and by our ignorance, the church of Jesus Christ has consigned itself to irrelevance and impotence in the ongoing struggle for the soul of America.”—Alexis De Toqueville

People are circumstantially driven.  The feelings are based largely on their environment.  Fear is a powerful weapon that is used quite extensively from both the left and right.  Quotes like, “If we don’t pass this legislation now…”  can create a sense of desperation where there really doesn’t need to be panic. 

Believers are not to drive people with fear.  We use the opposite force, FAITH!  Fear and faith are both of the same substance, but have vastly different results. Fear is the belief that it’s all bad; faith is the belief that it’s all good. 

Our Choice Matters

We can cry a rally call for conservative values, Constitutional ways, American spirit, and  Godly principles, but we must do so with a heart of God.  We must stand on truth, not fear.  We must do everything for people, not for selfish interest or power.  We don’t do it to legislate morality and virtue but to facilitate an atmosphere where people have a choice.

The best and worst part of freedom is that we have a choice to make choices.  This is the essence of Love.  Love only exists when the choice not to love exists.  If I have no choice but to love, then I am not truly loving. 

God gave Adam that choice in the garden, and Adam chose not to love.  That choice still exists for each one of us today, and God still waits for our answer. 

So always remember that whether we win or lose, we fight the good fight of faith and that if we don’t operate in love, we are nothing and our message means nothing.

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Prayer the Nehemiah way 1 of 8

Posted by undergroundchurch on August 26, 2009


Prayer is powerful, plain and simple.  It is a means God gave us to communicate with Him, and one important thing to remember is that God has not changed… ever!

Sure we have an avenue of grace with God that didn’t exist before, but the truth is that God still expects righteousness, repentence, worship and sacrifice.  We live in a “bless me” generation, and while it is true that God loves to bless his children, as one author said, “He is more concerned about your character than your comfort.”

Prayer needs to be a balance that is at least half worship a quarter repentence, with the remainder primarily focused on others.  Oh yeah.  If you still have time at the end, bring your needs before him, but remember that He already knows what you need, are you willing to sacrifice in your prayer life for his will to be done?

Nehemiah was a man that knew the power of prayer and was able to balance it well.  Prayer changed him as it changed the people around him and still succeeded in moving the nation forward.

In the next few posts, we are going to look at the prayers of Nehemiah, a man that knew adversity, stood in the face of fear through faith in God and took huge risks in order to see the will of God come to pass.

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Undeniable Truth Number 3

Posted by undergroundchurch on August 2, 2009


God Loves you!

I know that you’ve probably heard that many times, but if it doesn’t resonate inside your being, then you probably don’t quite grasp the power of that love.

To best understand this, you need to know what God’s love is and is not. 

God’s love is…

  1. Not determined upon your merit. You can’t earn His love.
  2. Irrevocable. You can’t make Him stop loving you, you can grieve God, but not make Him stop loving.
  3. Unfazed by your current circumstance.  He deals with your future and can forgive your past. Your situation is reconcilable.
  4. Life altering.  Think about this, the creator of the universe (yes the universe was created) loves insignificant you.  That is both humbling and empowering.

God’s love is not…

  1. Fluctuating.  He doesn’t love you less or more today than yesterday.
  2. Bought, bribed or bartered. You can’t work for him to make him love you more. You can’t make Him love you more because you go to church and never cuss, and you certainly can’t bribe him, “I’ll love you if you do this for me.”
  3. Human love.  God’s love is not even on the same plane as human love.  “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Human love would not voluntarily give up its life for a bunch of reprobates that have not love in return.  God showed perfect love when we hated him most.
  4. To be taken lightly.  He loves and calls us children, but he also is a terrifying God that we must come before with fear and trembling.  Yet, we can come boldly before him, but only in holiness and with joy. There is no more perfect balance in the universe than that which is found in God.

God only wants one thing – your undying love in return.  I have heard many people say, “If God is so loving, why is there evil in the world?”  The answer is actually quite simple – we invited it.

The interesting thing about love is that you can’t truly love unless you have the option not to love.  Love is a choice, not a feeling or manipulation.  God gave us a choice through Adam to love Him first, and Adam refused, opting for death. We have that same choice to love God today, yet so many of us choose to ignore our option to love God in return, and instead choose to live only for this life.

God’s love is ever reaching, never ending and unrelenting, and the only way to truly experience the benefits is to surrender our pride and allow Him to release the power of that Love in our lives.

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The Greatest Description of Jesus: Part 4 of 4

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 16, 2009


The continuing look at Philippians 2. See Part 3

Power in Humility

9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

“It’s the inside outside, upside down kingdom where you lose to gain and you die to live.” – Misty Edwards

Before Jesus death on the Cross, the name Jesus (Hebrew Yeshua or tansliterated “Joshua”) only meant “God Saves”. It was more of a proclamation than anything else.  Thousands of people before and since have been given that name as their birth name without much fanfare. But something happened that day Jesus died on the cross that transformed the name into something that would change the God/man relationship forever.

What’s in a name? If Jesus was named by someone today, it would have probably been Bob or Ralph (no offense to any “Bob’s” or “Ralph’s” out there).  We just don’t name people the same way they did back then.

Ever notice that so many people in the Bible had names that they fulfilled?  Adam – “earth” (made from the earth), Methuselah – when he dies, it shall come” (he died the year the flood came), Moses – “drawn from water” (taken from a basket floating in the Nile), and the list goes on.

Names mean things to God. In fact, all believers will get new names end the end, so don’t get too used to the one you have now.

Another feature of the day was that the baby was named by the mother on the eighth day when they were dedicated at the temple.  Jesus, was similarly named; however, he was given the name before his birth by an angel. 

The name stuck, and he eventually fulfills his name’s sake by being the God that saved the world.  But what happened afterward?  What are these three verses telling us?

Verse 8 said that he became “obedient to death on the cross”. He succeeded. Jesus won! He carried out God perfect plan perfectly.  Do you realize that if Jesus failed at any point, we would all be left without hope?

But because he finished his journey, we have an advocate with God.

The name is similar to being crowned King.  When something was done in the name of the King, it was final.  Jesus was given all the authority he had before, with the additional benefits of winning the war.  He got the spoils – which were us. He battled to free man, and he was given the spoils of war by his Father.

The name above all names is the power and authority that he now has above everything.  Our sin separated us from God, but Jesus victory reconnected that which was lost. Now we have access to Him, and Jesus has earned the right to be Master (that’s what Lord means) of everything.

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The Greatest Description of Jesus: Part 2 of 4

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 14, 2009


Continuing the look into Philippians 2,  See Part 1.

The Attitude of Christ

It has been said that your attitude determines your altitude. No more outstanding example exists than Jesus’ example.

Who, being in very nature God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
 but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature of a servant (Philippians 2:6-7a)

This is an interesting verse. Jesus was an is God, yet to show humility, he had to lay down the right to call himself God and become a servant. 

The Greek here poses the attitude Jesus had in a stronger way, the word “grasp” is the same a “robbery” – to seize. It does not carry the connotation of robbery that says, “it doesn’t belong to him”, but the sense that it is a prize or reward that he could grasp hold of. 

However, he determined in His mind that he would not grasp this right.  That choice made it possible for him to die a slow and miserable death on a criminal’s cross.  He could have called up the angels, but did not because he took the servant’s role.

It literally says that he “emptied himself” of the right in order to take upon himself the servant role.  I don’t want to jump ahead just yet, but this chapter ends with God lifting him up.  If Jesus doesn’t bring himself low, God could never lift him up.

This is first attitude we must have in Christ.  If we do not humble ourselves, God cannot lift us up.  He wants to lift us up, but we too often get in the way with pride, selfish ambition and fear.  Jesus showed us the path to greatness… it is through the job of a servant.

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Building a Better You

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 12, 2009


What’s important to you?

Today’s Biblegateway verse from Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God

Let’s be honest, life is really only fulfilling when priorities are set right.  There is that which you know you should do and that which you are doing, and when they aren’t in harmony, life feels less meaningful. 

You can make millions, vacation anywhere you want, retire from a successful career, but if your priorities are screwed up, you just won’t feel satisfied.

When looking at your priorities, there are three factors you must consider, and they are based on your very makeup – body, mind and spirit.

First is the spiritual consideration.

The spiritual part of your life is the least noticable on the surface, but it is the most fundamental to your very existence.  You are first and foremost a spiritual being. That is what separates you from rats and mice.  You have to come to grips with your spiritual condition in light of spiritual truth and discover if you are walking in truth.

It’s not about what you believe, it’s whether or not your belief lines up with truth.  The most important relationship is the one you have with the one that created you.  God is more than a concept; he is an involved, caring and loving God that has done everything within His power to give you complete spiritual satisfaction without violating your free will.  The question you need to answer, “What are you doing with what God has done for you?”

Second, is the emotional. 

It is important to have the emotional follow the spiritual because the emotional tends to shift around.  Your feelings are good and can be beneficial to you, but they are not to be completely trusted. 

For example, you can think that someone is out to get you, when all you really have is an overblown imagination.  If you are spiritually governed first, you tend to lead a more stable life because its not always just about you.  There is something bigger than you out there.  You recognize God in more situations that would emotionally wreck you.

Another example of this is Love.  Love is first a spiritual verb and second an emotional feeling.  There are days in my marriage that if I was just holding to emotional love, it would be greatly diminished if not gone.  But my love is tapped into a spiritual dimension which means that even though I don’t “feel” the love, I “know” the love is there and that it is strong and immovable.

Finally, is the physical aspect. 

This is the one we spend most of our time trying to please, but it really has the least impact on our well being.  If you gain the whole world, yet lose your soul, what have you really gained?

So there are three things you can do to help build a better you. 

  1. Contact God.  Break out your Bible (doesn’t matter the version), just ask God simply, “Show me what you want for my life and how I can glorify you in it”, and start reading and praying.  You’ll be surprised to find that He answers you.
  2. Confirm Yourself. Know who you are in Christ.  Don’t listen to the voices that tell you “you can’t do this or that”, “you aren’t worthy” or “who do you think you are”.  You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.  Your worth is based on your purchase price. God purchased you with the life of his own Son, and because of that, you are a child of God and co-heir with Jesus Christ.
  3.  Corporeal Subjugation. Don’t set out to please your body (flesh) first.  You can make your flesh subject to your spirit.  Let no temptation overtake you.

Remember that God has put his own Spirit in your life to give you strength to do all this.  You don’t have to rely on yourself. You have God and fellow believers that will walk with you on your journey.

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Some Great Old Routines

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 11, 2009


I grew up listening to a group called Isaac Air Freight.  They had some great routines.  I since lost the albums, but I found the routines on Youtube the other day.  They are only audio, but that was how they were intended. They are good, even today. Hope you enjoy.

You can see more at the source in Youtube by clicking HERE.

Blessings

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