This is God’s design for the Church in the last days: His people, living in a sustained place of outpouring that will release His glory in the earth and prepare the way for His return. “…Even so, come Lord Jesus!”Keep reading
If you were to ask us what three words best describe #CampTRIBE we’d say FUN. FRIENDS. FIRE.
For too long this generation has looked at the church as a stale, lifeless organization. It’s time we show them what this life in Christ is all about. As a Christian, if you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong. Here’s a glimpse into the kind of fun we have at #CampTRIBE:
We all have a deep desire in our heart to belong. It’s how we were created. So as a camp, that’s what we’re all about. We’re a TRIBE for everyone. Every race, every background, every walk of life, with one singular mission – to truly know Jesus and make Him known. You’ve got to join us this summer!
Restless and weary of the status quo, this generation is hungry to encounter the living God. Isn’t it time we introduce them to the Jesus that still heals the sick and raises the dead? Isn’t it time we introduce a dying world to the one true living King? At #CampTRIBE we seek to cultivate an atmosphere of fire where kids and teens of all ages encounter Jesus in a tangible way that marks their life forever. Click the image below to learn more today!
She wasn’t then, nor is she now a lovely woman. You most likely wouldn’t recognize her if you saw her, and you might quickly pass by without thinking her worthy of stares. Picasso painted “Woman With Folded Arms” in 1902, depicting a plain-dressed woman sitting with her arms crossed staring depressingly into space – evidently lost in thought [perhaps the feelings of many regrets.] She sold in 2000 for a cool 55 million dollars at Christie’s Auction house! Amazing! The embarrassing truth is that I wouldn’t have paid $5 for the painting at a yard sale!
A painting’s value is ultimately determined by what someone is willing to pay! The art that I stupidly would not have paid $5 for at a yard sale is worth more money than most can even imagine. Everyone ultimately struggles with the idea of value. Most issues people wrestle with are rooted in the confidence individuals have concerning their worth.
Correctly answering the question of what determines our worth becomes critical to a life well lived. Is it looks? Our intelligence? Our accomplishments? The family to which we were born? Is it how many know our name? Or perhaps it is how many “views” and “likes” we get on our social media posts? In the financial world, we determine worth by counting assets. And yet, when you look at many of those whose net worth is fantastic you still find troubled individuals who can’t seem to find real peace. So our actual value must be derived from something more.Correctly answering the question of what determines our worth becomes critical to a life well lived. Click To Tweet
I submit to you, that just as a painting’s value is determined by what someone is willing to pay to acquire it, your worth is forever decided by the price Someone paid! This is good news! This is Gospel truth: “You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed….with the precious blood of Christ…” [I Pt. 1:18-19 Amp]
If we are honest, I believe we each have to admit that we struggle with the issue of worth! Do we matter? If we matter, how much and to whom? Far too many live constantly seeking to “measure up.” We are told that buying this car, living in this kind and size of a house, wearing this “brand,” following this “checklist” (or not following it), determines that we are somebody worthy of existing!
Many rebel against the idea of “measuring up” according to the things I have mentioned above only to begin to feel that they possess worth because they are willing to go against the grain of normalcy within the culture. Sadly, they end up just creating a counterculture that is as anemic as the current culture. The cycle only continues to feed the insecurities that encourage us to live small lives.
Everyone I know would like to live largely. Even those who have little hope of doing so, still dream of what it must be like to enjoy life in abundance. This desire certainly isn’t a negative trait, on the contrary, I believe it is part of the DNA of humans. Created in the image of God we have a particular inclination to abundant living! Jesus declared that He came so that all who believe Him will enjoy life more abundantly! [See John 10:10]
How then can we live the maximized life?There are three questions that you must answer if you want to live life to the fullest:
1. First, what is your view of God?
2. Second, what is God’s view of you?
3. Third, what is your view of you?
These questions are at the heart of understanding the worth of the individual and learning how to live life indeed.
First, let’s look at how we see God? How do you view Him? Is He elusive? Difficult to please? Is He constantly nitpicking and finding fault? Do you see Him as being quick to point out your errors and remind you of how messed up you are? Do you believe that He is reluctant to give you anything good? Is He hard on sin and hard on you? Or do you see Him as a doting old grandfather who never corrects? Always looks the other way? Never challenges you to change because He doesn’t want to hurt your feelings? Freely giving you everything you want just because you want it? Easy on you, easy on sin?First, let’s look at how we see God? How do you view Him? Is He elusive? Difficult to please? Is He constantly nitpicking and finding fault? Click To Tweet
The way you view God is the absolute key to the way you live your life. Who is God and what is He like? You may say, “But how can I know what God is like?” That is a great question, and thankfully we have a great answer! JESUS! In John’s gospel, Jesus says, “To see Me is to see the Father.” [John 14:9 Message] Jesus is God in action! If you want to know how God views sin, look at Jesus! If you want to know how God sees sinners, look at Jesus! If you want to know how God views sickness, look at Jesus! Jesus is the visible expression of the invisible God!The way you view God is the absolute key to the way you live your life Click To Tweet
So to get an accurate view of who God is, we need to look to Jesus! When we see Him deal with the woman “caught in the very act of adultery” we catch a glimpse of who God is and how he thinks. Three truths emerge from the narrative that deserves our attention: First, it is evident that God is not OK with sin! Jesus’ instructs the little woman who was caught in sin, to go and sin no more. Second, the story shows that God is not OK with religious hypocrisy! Jesus forcibly rebukes the religious group of men who came with rocks in hand, willing to execute a sinner while pretending holiness. Third, Jesus proves that while God is never OK with sin or religious pretension, He is more than OK with the sinner!
Jesus’ love shot through the darkness like a bolt of brilliant lightning striking the earth with a jolt of magnanimous power, “Neither do I condemn you. Go…” [See Jn 8:1-12] She was worthy of death in everyone’s eyes who knew what she had done. Even those who only thought they knew her sin agreed that if Jesus commanded her stoning, it would be what she deserved. But Jesus saw worth in her that not even she could see or dare believe.
The law demanded that she die. It was indeed what she deserved. God had said, “The soul who sins shall die.” [Ezekiel 18:20] Yet, God stood there before her in the person of Jesus Christ and released her from what she deserved. Why? Is it because the God of the Old Testament is a different God than the God of the New Testament? Some seem to think so, but the Bible is clear that “He is always the same.” There is no difference between the God of Sinai and the God of Calvary.There is no differing between the God of Sinai and the God of Calvary. Click To Tweet
His releasing her from the due death penalty wasn’t because He had changed. God had not recently fallen in love with people whom He used to hate. No indeed. He released her because He had come to take her place in death. He said, “Do not begin to suppose that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” [Matthew 5:17 Wuest] She went home with a new lease on life because Jesus came to take her place in death. And not only her position but ours also.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” [John 15:13] He voluntarily gave His life for you and me. Wow! Religion teaches that we are unworthy. Jesus declares us to be “TO DIE FOR!” By HIs actions, He has made us worthy! Now you just need to believe! Believe His love and live like someone significantly valued by the Almighty God!
How great would it be to hear Jesus say, “You lack one thing.?” Just one thing; only one area you need to get right. How awesome to have your weaknesses reduced to just one thing in the eyes of the One who sees all. What a relief it must have been for the young leader to hear Jesus say you only need to change in one area to walk into eternal life.
He waited with bated breath as he looked eagerly into the loving eyes of Jesus. His thoughts raced like chariots in the arena, “What is it, Lord? Tell me so I can get it right and receive the assurance of true salvation.”
“Then Jesus looking upon him, loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. And come, take up the cross and follow Me.” [Mark 10:21]
The words crashed into him like a mighty wave causing him to stagger under the weight.
“No! Not that! Anything else, yes. But no to that!”
Conflicting thoughts raced through his mind. Warfare escalated. Hope as a great light flashed in front of him, but a deep sorrow rose within him. He so wanted eternal life! He so wanted to be a part of what Jesus was doing. “He was saddened by that word, and he went away grieving. For he had many possessions.” [Mark 10:22]
The issue wasn’t that he had many possessions. The issue was that riches possessed him. His security was in stuff instead of the Lord He claimed to trust. Jesus taught that it is challenging for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God. [See Mark 10:23]
Unwilling to do the “one thing,” the wealthy young leader turns his back to Jesus and walks away.
Sorry? Yes. Willing? No.
I am amazed at how many people are willing to give up on their destiny over one thing they are unwilling to lay down. One thing they determine is more important to them than the future Jesus offers.
Far too many walk away from salvation because of one thing they will soon discover they cannot hold onto anyway: A relationship, addiction, a genre of music, a cultural style, uncertain riches, sexual desires and on and on. Whatever it is, it will not last. And even if it would continue and if someone could gain it all, Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Matthew 16:26]
Sadly, millions turn their back to the ONE who loves them unconditionally and proved it with His life! Why? It seems ludicrous to reject life because of something they refuse to surrender. But it happens time and time again.
Self is a horrible deceiver, a brutal taskmaster, and our greatest enemy. How do we deal with this enemy? How can we overcome? Can we reach an agreement where we can live peacefully with the selfish nature of flesh? Jesus answered that we never make a treaty with the sinful character of fallen self!
Self is only successfully dealt with by:
1.) denying self, the throne in your heart – [deny means: to lose sight of]
2.) taking up the cross [the instrument of death to self]
3.) choosing self-sacrifice and dependence on God over self-help [See Mark 8:34-38]
4.) following Jesus as a real disciple
Thousands of years after Jesus’ challenge to the rich young leader professing followers of Christ are still trying to make treaties with self. Some even in ministry, hold on to jealousy and seethe with envy toward fellow Christian workers instead of rejoicing in God’s grace in them. Too many continually choose to hold on to insecurity and smallness of heart. Rather than surrendering their fears and competitive nature to Jesus, they abandon their destiny!
Whoever you are and wherever you are on your journey make the decision now that your life is entirely HIS. The only way to arrive at the destiny of God for your life is the way Jesus outlined: deny self, take up the cross and follow HIM! It will be more than worth it in every way!
The rest of the story in Mark 10 is amazing! Just after the rich young ruler walks away, the Lord makes an incredible promise. “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left a house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields, for My sake and the gospel’s sake, who shall not receive a hundred times as much now in this age …with persecution, and in the age to come, eternal life.” [Mark 10:29-30]
Wow. You can trust Jesus! What you lose in denying self and following Jesus can never compare to the life you gain in Him. Trust Him and follow! It is the one decision in life you will never regret!
I know that we are each facing some areas in our lives where we need a breakthrough! We are looking for breakthroughs spiritually, relationally, physically, financially and in almost any other imaginable arena. And we believe that God is moving on our behalf! We know that our Heavenly Father loves us and desires the best for us.
But what is it that we need? Is there one thing that should be our greatest priority? What should occupy the primary focus of our prayers? It is quite obvious, isn’t it? Jesus says it best in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”God doesn't have any trouble getting stuff to us. His challenge is for us to get in the right position where we can receive it. Click To Tweet
God doesn’t have any trouble getting stuff to us. His challenge is for us to get in the right position where we can receive it. For some crazy reason, God seems to have this idea that He should be first! Maybe it comes from the fact that He is the creator! He is the originator of all that blesses. We were created in His image and designed to live in His presence and enjoy His plan. [See Gen. 1:26-28, Ps. 16:11, Jer. 29:11] Scripture makes it very clear that as a Father, His ultimate desire for His children is that we live in His best. His best is only possible where He is first!For some crazy reason, God seems to have this idea that He should be first! Click To Tweet
More than anything else that we seek, long for or desire what we need is Him! We need the King! It is evident. Isn’t it? I know that it seems a bit churchy. It seems religious, but it is the key to living life the way God intends it. When we truly seek the kingdom of God, we get the King. When we get HIs kingdom and his way of being and doing right then everything else we need will naturally follow.
We want more than the anointing, more than the supernatural, more than prosperity, more than principles to live by, more than miracles and blessings. We want God! in Exodus 33, Moses asks for more! He asks for more than the miracles he had experienced, more than the prosperity they left Egypt with and more than the health they were enjoying. He asks to see the Lord! “Please, show me Your glory!” (Ex. 33:18) God understands Moses’ request and replies, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.” But He said, “You cannot see My face…” (Ex. 33:19-20)
Moses was asking for Him! In fact, He had already stood before the Lord and told Him that an angel wasn’t enough. He had the boldness to tell God, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” Who talks to God this way? Someone who wants Him more than they want HIS miracles or blessing. A man whose priorities are right! A person in whom God delights and manifest grace and glory in them and for them.Who talks to God this way? Someone who wants Him more than they want HIs miracles or blessing. Click To Tweet
I encourage you to do whatever you must do to put Jesus first and keep Him first in your life. A few practical steps include daily Bible reading, prayer, worship, listening to the preached and taught word on a daily basis, and consistent attendance in a Word-based Spirit-filled church. Be intentional about Jesus first, and you will naturally live life God’s way!