This Way of Life


Reposted from Radical Mentoring

It’s so easy to ‘speak Christian’ but not really communicate. When we tell people to follow Jesus, it may feel like we’re telling people to stand in the corner of a round room. Phrases like “Give your life to Christ” and “Surrender to Jesus” describe a decision . . . a specific event, not a day-to-day guideline for living ‘this way of life.’

So I came up with eight practices that together, can make ‘this way of life’ a reality. I believe God’s Word supports all of these. So here goes . . .

  1. Love and accept people – Just as they are. Forgive them when they fail. Don’t create expectations for other’s behavior, especially for those outside the faith who don’t have the faith you have.
  2. Trust God with the outcomes – Peace over panic. Do the next right thing, remembering that He loves you, wants what’s best for you, and never leaves you.
  3. Relax in your identity – Strive no more! You are an adopted child of the King of Kings. You can’t be unadopted.
  4. Be generous – Trusting God allows you to give rather than hold back. Freely give your time, money, and grace without regard to being appreciated or getting anything in return.
  5. Develop your character – Faith in God makes it safe to do the right thing, as God defines it, even when nobody’s looking and when it’s going to cost you something.
  6. Live in community – Connect and commit to a church but even more, get connected and do life with at least one other Jesus-follower who knows your dark corners and whose life is headed toward Christ.
  7. Pray all the time  Listen to His voice in Scripture. Listen for His voice in your thoughts. Get in the habit of praying and listening, even a simple prayer like “I love you, Lord, I trust you, Lord, I need you, Lord, I thank you, Lord.”
  8. Intentionally mentor – Live your life for others. Be intentional about engaging with people for the purpose of helping them find and follow Jesus. Look for mentors to help you grow as you mentor one, two, or a group of folks who may be behind you in their spiritual journey.

Faith empowers us to live ‘this way of life.’ But faith in God as a concept won’t cut. It takes faith in a “friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Faith in an omnipotent God who wants you to trust Him enough that you can do all eight of these things consistently and with confidence in order to “have life and have it to the full.”

Scripture: Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7)

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Defeating the Devil’s Strategies


Reposted from In Touch Ministries

All of us make tracks through the valley of failure. Then the key question is, What we will do next? Sadly, many believers who stumble give up a vibrant kingdom-serving life for a defeated existence. But failure can also be a chance for a new beginning of living in Christ’s strength.

In pride, Peter thought his faith was the strongest of all the disciples’ and swore that even if the others left Jesus, he never would (Mark 14:29). Yet when the time of testing came, he denied even knowing Christ–and did so three times (Matt. 26:69-75). Satan hoped the disciple would be so wounded by his own disloyalty that his faith would be undermined by shame, condemnation, and despair.

Likewise, when the Enemy sifts believers today, his goal is for us to become shelved and ineffective for God’s kingdom. That’s why he goes after our strengths, especially the areas in which we proudly consider ourselves invincible. But if we’re willing, the Lord can use our failures to do spiritual housecleaning, as He did in Peter’s life. After the resurrection, Jesus met with the disciple personally and restored him, preparing him to become a great leader in the early church. He made it clear that Peter’s potential to serve was defined, not by failure, but by his unwavering love for Christ.

Three Word Legacy


Reposted from Radical Mentoring

I’ve never been much of a funeral guy . . . not that anyone is. The first one I remember was for my father when I was a sophomore in high school. I’ve attended plenty since then, but not until my 40’s did I notice a distinct shift in my perspective.

Before 40, my dominant funeral emotion was numb. Aware of the sadness, but not overwhelmed because death seemed so far away.

Post 40, my emotional state changed. Possibly because I’ve attended funerals of people my age, but more likely because the idea of ‘legacy’ is now more of a priority for me. Sitting through these funerals, I catch myself wrestling with questions like . . .

  • What will my family say about me at my funeral? What about my friends?
  • Who will attend my funeral and why will they be there?
  • How do I want to make others feel when they are around me?
  • What do I value most and how am I living out those values daily?

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the funeral for the mother of a family member. Even though I’d never met her, attending seemed like the right thing to do. My family member would have been there for me if the roles were reversed.

This funeral was unique as this lady suffered a stroke almost 30 years ago. She spent the past 30 years trapped in her temporary ‘earth suit’ . . . wheelchair-bound, with a limited vocabulary. It was said at the service that she was a “prisoner in her own body.”

As her grandchildren spoke and reflected on her life, they shared the words spoken to them most often during their visits . . . “I love you” and “Thank you.” Even with her physical limitations, she still let them know she loved them and was grateful for them. That is a legacy.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul reminds us “not to lose heart because while we are wasting away outwardly, we are being renewed every day” and to “fix our eyes on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary.”

Meister Eckhart said, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is Thank You, it will be enough.”

Funerals are never events we hope to attend, but they can undoubtedly shape our perspective on eternity and remind us of the temporary nature of this life. After attending that funeral, here are some of the things I’m pondering. Maybe you’ll join me . . .

What are my eyes fixed on?

Am I allowing myself to be renewed every day?

Am I allowing the temporary circumstances I face every day determine the words that come out of my mouth?

If I could only speak three words or less, what would they be?

The Dependability of God


From the first chapter of Scripture, the Bible makes a case for the dependability of God.  Without exception when God spoke, something wonderful happened.  By divine fiat there was light, land, beaches, and creatures.  God consulted no advisers.  He needed no assistance. “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm” (Psalm 33:9).

The same power is seen in Jesus.  He is unchanging.  He’s never caught off guard by the unexpected.  “God never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (James 1:17).

God is strong.  He does not overpromise and under deliver.  “God is able to do whatever he promises” (Romans 4:21).  “It is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).  God will keep his promises.  It must happen because of who God is!  And because God’s promises are unbreakable, our hope is unshakable!

Reposted from Max Lucado