Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Jesus born to shake the world

When Mary and Joseph held the baby Jesus, they only had a glimpse of His divine purpose.  Here in a manger the glory of God laid in seed form- lots of potential yet undeveloped.  Unkown to anyone, in this little baby would rest the destiny of mankind.

The angels had proclaimed Him as the Savior, the promised Messiah - the Christ of God had been born.  The prophet Simeon was in the temple in Jerusalem when Mary and Joseph brought their newborn there to make an offering to the Lord.  Simeon rejoiced when he saw the child and declared Him to be, "A Light of revelation to the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6-9), and the glory of Your people Israel (Heb. 1:3)" --Luke 2:32.

Simeon continued to speak to the new parents saying, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed-- and a sword (the words He will speak --Heb. 4:12-13) will pierce even your own soul (Mary)-- to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."

This innocent, helpless child would shake the world.  His words would cut into the heart of man and bring them low.  From this place the words of this Child would also cause them to rise into a new identity, inheritance, and calling directly linked to heaven itself.  For many others, this little Child would be a force to be controlled and opposed.  For them, His words would be such a threat to their lifestyle, status, and position that they declared Him their enemy -- someone to resist, reject, and persecute.

May we all, with willing hearts, hold Him near and allow Him to accomplish ALL He desires in our lives.  His love and goodness move us to such surrender and trust.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Culture of Honor- A Clash of Kingdoms

When Jesus came out of the wilderness after his temptation he began telling everyone, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" Mt.4:17. The kingdom of heaven confronts and assaults the knowledge, values and priorities of our world. They are in conflict - a clash of kingdoms. Hardly anything Jesus taught fits nicely into our natural way of doing life. The kingdom of heaven calls us higher. Come up higher to heavenly perspectives, priorities and values.

One current expression of the kingdom of heaven is the "culture of honor" taught by Danny Silk from Bethel Church in Redding Ca. The more we have studied this, the greater the challenge it becomes- in a good way. The 'culture of honor" is calling us up higher in how we conduct our relationships. At Radiant Church we are beginning to embrace this culture as a mutual goal to give ourselves to.

Are you applying the "culture of honor" to you marriage and key relationships? To find a list of defining characteristics, look under the Resources page.  We will hear more about this emerging culture at Radiant this Sunday 10 a.m. at the Oaks.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A New Wineskin For New Wine

One fried told me recently that he felt that God was working within Radiant Church to develope the new wineskin to contain the new wine yet to be given. It really hit me as a truth that God works in stages with us as individuals and with each of our churches in which we fellowship. Right now, the wineskin is the primary focus and the wineskin represents the people who are being formed into a body at Radiant Church. It has been beautiful to see how God is beginning to establish us into a united group. He is also forming a personality within our fellowship, a corporate feel and a demonstration of values that have been consistently expressed.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"In Christ" the Epicenter of God's Favor

An epicenter is the part of the earth's surface just above an earthquake. It is a focal point of power being released. In the case of Christ, the epicenter was not caused by an earthquake below but an open heaven. When Christ walked the earth, He was a manifestation of God's nature and God's power. Wherever He stood, the world was shaken because Heaven was open above Him. To Him the Father declared, "In Him I am well pleased." This open Heaven is the place of God's favor. Favor that looks like amazing grace and enduring love. Favor that brings us into acceptance and even adoption as sons and daughters. The open Heaven of God's favor is eternally upon the life of Jesus Christ- totally.

The New Testiment repeatedly uses the phrase, "In Him" or "In Christ". The fact that we become united with Christ when we believe is a mystery for sure. Being "in Christ" places us in the epicenter of God's favor. Every blessing, every promise, every gift and every calling upon God's people is the direct result of abiding "in Christ".

At Radiant Church over the next two Sundays (July 8,15) we will continue teaching about this wonderful position, along with the blessings and promises that are ours as a result of being "In Christ"- the epicenter of God's favor.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Radiant Testimonies from the first 12 weeks

• A visiting pastor described Radiant as “unique and fresh”. “I see the church I have preached about but had never seen it. Now I have seen it.”

• Another visiting pastor said, "This is birthed by the Holy Spirit."

• One man said, “I went home and read the Bible for 4 hours after church. I have never done that before.” “I am now in a regular pattern of reading my Bible.”

• “Refreshing and relaxing- peaceful and comfortable.”

• A teenager said, “I am set free, Love brought the wall down.”

• “I am experiencing intimacy in small groups on Sunday.”

• Radiant is non-structured and non-churchy.

• One lady said, “The hospitality is comforting.”

• “The fact that you set out tea instead of just coffee made me feel so special. Everywhere else just does coffee but I don’t drink it.”

• I feel “pampered”.

• One man said, “I literally felt my back straighten up after the heavy weights of religion were broken off of me. I feel free.”

• One young woman reported, “I feel a great level of freedom. I feel valued because I am asked for my input.”

• “I was healed from a terrible sinus infection during the worship time.”

• “This is real, not put on.”

• One woman declared, “I am walking in a greater victory than ever before.”

• Another woman remarked, “When you called to check on me it meant so much.”

• “The waitress I met came to church and her son prayed to receive Christ.”

• A young man has been reaching out to a 19 year old man in the Wicca religion and he has now prayed to receive Christ and came to the cookout.

• Several leaders who were out of church for a long time are now deeply involved.

• One couple said, “We never felt connected in a church before and we have gone to many. We feel connected now and are valued and flowing in our gifts.”

• One man said that the love of God has changed him from being critical and harsh toward people and is now feeling love and forgiveness instead. He is now reading the Bible daily for the first time in his life and is very hungry for God.

• One woman reported that she had been deeply hurt by pastors in the past and was now free from that pain. “I woke up the next day and I was free after we prayed together.”

• One man in his 80’s said, “I always knew church could be like this, but I had never experienced it until now.”

• One young woman received an instantaneous healing for her knee that had been injured three weeks earlier.

• From Facebook one visitor wrote, “We were at my cousin Sharon's to celebrate her Birthday and we went to church with her.  We really enjoyed the service.  It was very uplifting & everyone was so friendly & very caring of each other.  They had a wonderful service of discussing the love Jesus has for each and every one of us and made you feel like you were special.  I loved my experience and when I am visiting my cousin again we will be sure to attend church service with them again.”

Friday, May 11, 2012

Faith is a Gift from our Father

We have met a new family that has become a blessing in our lives. James, Gabriella and their two boys along with their friend Ian are living at Caleb and Carolina's house for a season. James and group are here from England where they have ministered for years. We have had some great talks this week. One that has been the center of it all for me is the thought that faith is a gift from God. Like the other gifts our Father bestows upon His children in Christ, He also deposits the very essence of His faith within His own.  He has deposited the very seed of His own faith within me. Wow!! There is greater revelation in this for all of us. We will have an open discussion on this topic Sunday morning with James, myself and Radiant Church at 10am. All are welcome. Have a Radiant Day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Something Greater is Here

For the last two weeks at Radiant, we have been talking about Matthew 11 and 12. What amazing stuff in these two chapters. Jesus went out into the cities teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven. He demonstrated the Kingdom with power and the people were amazed. Amazed but unrepentant. Jesus was shocked. He scolded the towns of Capernaum, Bethsaida and Chorazin for seeing and hearing and being unmoved.

Then the eyes of Jesus looked to the Father and said, "I praise thee O Father,  Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight" Mt. 11:25,26.

What hit me so hard is that Jesus was working and preaching and declaring and healing all for the purpose of the people coming to repentance (getting their heart, head and life in alignment with the nature and will of God). Yet the Father was hiding, veiling and cloaking the revelatioin of Christ and the Kingdom from the majority of the people.

I could only imagine myself in Jesus shoes saying something like this."Hey Father-  I am here on this earth at your bidding and doing whatever You tell me to do. Why are You working against me as I am trying to download the truth to the people of these towns?"

Jesus on the other hand begins to praise God for who He is and for His ways. The Father loves to unveil the truth about Jesus and His kingdom to the child-lilke, those still seeking for answers, the humble, the broken and the surrendered. To those who are wise in themselves and self-suffiecient with their great learining- God has ordained that His truth remains hidden. Remember that God is one who desires all to come to repentance and to find salvation in Christ. Despite God's great passion for this, the condition of our hearts either align us or exempts us from such life-changing encounters.

Isaiah captured this thought from God's heart when the prophet quotes God "But to this one will I look, to him who is humble and contrite of sprit, and who trembles at My word." Is.66:2b

God's mercy leads us to repentance but we have our part in the process. The Holy Spirit has been released and He is working to bring conviction about our heart condition. Our response to the Holy Spirit is critical. We need to listen and be moved by Him to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God for in that place the Father pours out His grace.

In Matthew Chapter 12 the saga continues as Jesus ministers and tells the people in word and deed that something greater is here. Something greater than the temple, demons, Jonah the prophet, Solomen the king, and HIs own natural family was in their midst. Something greater because Jesus the Son of Man, Son of God and His Kingdom had come. For the most part, like the people in the towns where He ministered, they missed what was right in front of them. The Kingdom had come and they could not discern it for it was hidden from them.

Something greater is here in our midst- Jesus and His Kingdom has come. Can you discern it? We have been told to set our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our fatih. We have been told to seek first the kingdom of God. By doing so we have also been invited to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Unveiled to the humble, the seeking, the repentant of heart. Revealed to those who approach Him in surrender and in faith.

The end of Matthew 11 provides one of the greatest invitations given by Jesus. "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me ..." This three fold invitation is to be a life style not a one time event. Come and keep coming to Me, yoke and remain yoked with Me, learn and continuously learn from Me. Let us be fervent and intentional about answering this invitatioin for something greater is here - Jesus and His Kingdom.