God has not stopped speaking to His people. Hearing God is a vital part of growing in the Spirit. However, far from being a mysterious and mystical experience, the voice of God often comes to us in very common ways. As we learn to listen, we will find that He speaks more than we realized.
The primary purpose of the coming of the Holy Spirit is to equip us to declare the glory of Jesus to the world. We will never operate in the intended power and fullness of the Spirit if we are not actively engaged in the mission of God in the world.
Empowered by God’s Spirit, you can live a naturally supernatural life—one that reveals the goodness of God in tangible ways to your friends who otherwise are far from Jesus. You can be a new kind of neighbor in 2020!
If we are to become like Jesus, we will need to change. While there are aspects of the change process that we can and must engage ourselves, the real work of transformation is done by the Holy Spirit. We are called to live out that which is already true of us in Christ—engaging the Word, the community and the practices of Jesus—so that we might become mature in Him.
The Holy Spirit has consistently been the most controversial and misunderstood member of the Trinity. Who is He, and what does He do? When we begin to understand the person and work of the Holy Spirit, we are able to more fully engage the transforming work of God in our lives and in the world around us.
“The Work of Apprenticeship” centers around the themes of being with Jesus, becoming like Jesus, and doing what Jesus did.
One of the clearest teachings of Jesus and practices of the early church was the community of believers as family. However, within our cultural context, these are difficult words to live out. Jesus' call is not for a rejection of our family, but instead for a re-envisioning of what family is and how we engage one another in the Kingdom.
Our expectations of Jesus are not always in line with who He is. The question is: How will we respond when He doesn't meet our expectations? The invitation of Jesus is to adapt our hearts to His reality, requiring an inward transformation, not simply outward conformation.
By confronting the practice of the Sabbath, Jesus is a making an even more profound statement. He is showing Himself to be greater than all of the practices of Judaism and fulfillment of the promises of God—He declares Himself to be the Christ! This revelation must either draw us to Him or repel us from Him.
We go to the mountain top to gain what we need for coming down, because we cannot stay on top of the mountain. What we gain on the mountain we need in order to live in the grind of daily life with Jesus.
The message of Jesus is a mystery. Hidden but revealed. Inclusive but exclusive. Restful work. Paid in full but costing us everything. Only when we relinquish our control and take on the lifestyle of Jesus can we understand the secret of His easy yoke.
Jesus modeled for us spending time with people who don't know Jesus and having an ever-broadening circle of connection that will always include people that are far from Christ.
Jesus modeled the perfect balance of grace and truth—He was accepting of everyone without approving of everything. We often find ourselves pulled between the extremes of isolationism and intolerance or universalism and approval, but the Kingdom of God should be a place where people can find acceptance while being challenged to live differently in light of the grace of Jesus.
The natural outflow of grace is a fundamental reorientation of the world around us. We have been united at the cross, and the reconciliation that we've received from Jesus should create reconciliation in every area of our lives. In a world that is increasingly polarized, the call of the believer is to expand our tables to include those who look, think and act differently than we do. This is the Kingdom.
The Kingdom of God only comes with violence. Adding Jesus into the flow of our lives, even as our top priority, is not an option that has been left open to us. When we engage the real Jesus, our lives will never be the same. He impacts the way that we see the church, the way that we engage the world, and the way we live our lives.
In the sending of the Twelve, Jesus shows us how we are to engage the world around us. He gives us authority and commands us to give generously and freely, to have no fear even in persecution, and to steadily pursue an eternal reward. Being sent by Jesus impacts every area of our lives.
Jesus demonstrates more than healing—He proclaims life instead of death, cleanness in the place of uncleanness, and sight into blindness. Each action of Jesus is a free gift of freedom to the captives. His calling to us is, like Him, to follow the Spirit into places of captivity and to proclaim and demonstrate freedom.
Jesus redefined what it meant to be “in” and “out” of the religious system of His day. Everyone is invited! That open invitation changes everything and brings joy instead of mourning… because the work is already completed.
Following the proclamation of Kingdom, Jesus demonstrates the reality of the Kingdom. When we enter into the Kingdom reign of God, we get a glimpse of the true order of Creation. However, more importantly, we get to experience the reality of Jesus Himself.
Jesus saw, moved toward, and touched those around Him. Who do you see?