Beyond The Airport

As Believers we are just visiting this World. Our final destination is in Heaven. This earth is only the airport.

While we wait we live under Christ’s Lordship (His reign). We are part of His Kingdom now and long for being under His Ruling forever.

Today I want to share some food for thought from the devotional Beyond Saving Souls (link at bottom)

In our churches today, we talk a lot about saving souls, and very little about what Jesus called “the Kingdom of God.”

This is startling because it is the exact opposite of what we see Jesus emphasizing in the New Testament.

According to the concordance in my Bible, Jesus used the word “save” or “saved” less than 10 times. By contrast, he referred to his coming “Kingdom” more than 150 times.

In Matthew 24:14, Jesus said that it is the “gospel of the Kingdom” that “will be preached in the whole world,” not the gospel of individual salvation  (with an emphasis. on mine).

The gospel is not just good news for our souls, it is good news for the world.

In the words of Tim Keller,

“The ultimate purpose of Jesus is not only individual salvation and pardon for sins but also the renewal of this world, the end of disease, poverty, injustice, violence, suffering, and death.”

So, how did we get to the point in which our emphasis on saving souls is so out of whack with Jesus’s? I’d argue that there are two answers to that question, one theological and the other cultural.

First, the theological. Many in the western Church have an incomplete view of what the Bible says about heaven. Many Christians functionally (if not intellectually) believe that heaven starts and ends with the present heaven (where souls currently dwell with Christ until his return), ignoring the biblical promise made clear in today’s passage from Revelation that one day, Jesus’s kingdom will come on earth as it is in the present heaven (see also Matthew 6:10).

That’s the brief theological answer to why our emphasis on saving souls is so opposite Jesus’s.

Here’s the cultural answer: We are living in the most individualistic culture of all time, where the story of life is the story of my life. We see this everywhere, from entertainment, to technology, to how we think about our careers. 

All of this adds up to an overemphasis on individuals “going to heaven when we die,” (as important as that is!) at the sacrifice of gaining a more complete picture of God’s plans to redeem the entire world.

Why does this matter for our work? An underemphasis of God’s coming Kingdom can lead us to believe that our work is significant only if we share the gospel with co-workers or donate money to missionaries who do that work “full-time.”

As good as those things are, this is a terribly incomplete list of ways in which our work extends the rule of King Jesus in the world.

That much fuller list is covered in day 2 of the @YouVersion plan ‘Beyond Saving Souls’. Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/5LH


God’s Word

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had gone away. The sea also was not there any more. 2 I saw God’s own special city. It was coming down out of heaven from God. That is the new city which is called Jerusalem. It was very beautiful, like a woman who is wearing beautiful clothes for her marriage. She is ready to meet the man that she is going to marry. 3 Then I heard a voice that spoke loudly from the throne. It said, ‘God’s home is now among people! God will live together with them. They will be his people. God himself will be with them and he will be their God. 4 God will take away all the tears from their eyes. Nobody will ever die again. Nobody will be sad again. Nobody will ever cry. Nobody will have pain again. Everything that made people sad has now gone. That old world has completely gone away.’
Revelation 21:1‭-‬4 EASY

https://bible.com/bible/2079/rev.21.1-4.EASY

14 People will tell the good news about God’s kingdom to people all over the world. People in every country will hear the true message from God. Then God will cause the world to come to an end.
Matthew 24:14 EASY

https://bible.com/bible/2079/mat.24.14.EASY

10 We want the day when you rule everyone to come soon. We want everyone to obey you on earth, like everyone in heaven obeys you.
Matthew 6:10 EASY

https://bible.com/bible/2079/mat.6.10.EASY


You too have just finished day 1 of the @YouVersion plan ‘Beyond Saving Souls’. Check out the next 4 days here: http://bible.com/r/5LH

Fear Fighter Spiritual Combat

Day 2 of the 4 day @YouVersion plan ‘You Can Be Fearless!’. Link at bottom too.

 YOU HAVE THE WEAPONS YOU NEED 

2nd Timothy 1:7 says, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Not only does God not want you to be afraid, but He has given you everything you need to combat it

He’s given you power – not just any power, but His power!

In Luke 10:19 Jesus said that He has given you the power to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 

In Romans 5:5 we see that God has put His love right in your heart, and in 1 Corinthians 2:16 we find that He’s given you the mind of Christ. You have all the effective weapons against fear you’ll ever need.

Here are a few more scriptures for you to meditate on to keep fear far from you:

· Deuteronomy 31:8 – [God] will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

· Isaiah 41:10 –  Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

· Matthew 6:25 – Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

· Matthew 10:30-31 – The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

· Luke 8:50 – Jesus answered saying, “Don’t be afraid, only believe.”

· John 14:27 – Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Any time you’re tempted to be afraid, think on these truths from God’s Word – that’s how you can be fearless! 

Remember this. God says,

The great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you.

Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.”
(Luke 10:18‭-‬20 MSG)

You Can Be Fearless!

Magic Miracle on a Mundane Monday

Seduced By The Amazing

I just finished day 1 of the @YouVersion plan ‘The Holiness Of The Every Day‘. Here is what I took away from it. I hope it refreshes your soul too.

  • Adrenaline junkies.
  • Hopeless romantics.
  • Superhero movies.

Many of us are obsessed with the extraordinary. We use hyperbole and chase glittery images because we have committed fully to the alluring call of the amazing.

Judas betrays Jesus because, absurdly, he doesn’t find Jesus amazing enough. The Messiah. The Prophesied King. Judas had stars in his eyes. He probably thought,

This is going to be a revolution. We’ll live in palaces and the world will know us.

Judas was devastated that Jesus doesn’t meet his expectations.

We’ve bought into the seduction of “the amazing” because we do not believe in the ordinary. We need some magic, something new and huge and… amazing.

The problem is this: magic is just an exaggeration of the ordinary. What we call amazing is either a manipulation or an exaggeration of what is normal.

God tells us,

Call to Me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

How many times do we want to search everywhere to be amazed, when God is telling us that He can amaze us!

God can blow you away with all that He has in store for you. He can amaze you with the purpose He has created you for; with the places He’s ready to take you to.

We should embrace that real beauty is in the everyday, the mundane, the here and now.

We get excited when we hear verses like the one above and below. We lean in expecting Jesus to part the sea or strike down our enemies. But Jesus’ miracles were just a sign. The sign is pointing to the ordinary things of life. When we lean in to God, the unsearchable riches He whispers are of the ordinary:

  • peace,
  • hope,
  • love,
  • service.

We might back away feeling underwhelmed. But these are the greatest treasures of heaven and earth.

🔴Do not be seduced by a false perspective. You have all you need for life and for godliness.

🔴Do not be seduced into waiting for a magic shortcut.

The miracles are just a tool to show you what is available all the time.

  • Choices.
  • Thankfulness.
  • Awareness.

These are the elements of living that are truly divine. Truly Amazing.

If you skipped the audio above give a listen to “Kingdom” by David Dunn

You just finished day 1 of the @YouVersion plan ‘The Holiness Of The Every Day‘. Check it out all 3 days here:

http://bible.com/r/3TJ

Life As We Know It (say it with music -Petra)

You can also check out👉 Life As We Know It by Petra 👈on Amazon Music

Or on Spotify:👉 Life As We Know It by Petra👈

Life Application:

2 Corinthians 4:8‭-‬12‭, ‬16‭-‬18 NASB1995 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:8‭-‬12‭, ‬16‭-‬18 NASB1995

Zig Zag Mind’Z Maze

The Maze (original illustration at: https://wp.me/p6Exj2-m)

I woke up one day and heard a voice saying,

“If you desire a better place, get past the maze.”

For years I wandered in this huge maze between here and heaven. I was told that there is only one way to get to the very end. I thought,

“I have to figure out this maze or die in it trying, forever lost.”


One day, finally, I looked up and heard a voice and saw a hand reaching down.

The voice called,

“I am the way, the truth and the life, no one gets to the end, where my Father is, but through me (Jn. 14:6).”

I went to grab His hand but as I extended mine HE PULLED ME UP (Jude:22-23 Ps. 18:16-17).

Once on top of the walls of the maze I looked back down and realized what I was just saved from. I heard Him say,

“Follow Me, my name is Jesus.”

I followed His steps as He walked across the top edges of this huge labyrinth. I could see Heaven from where we were but then I stopped and said,

“Wait, we can do this?”

Jesus smiled and answered,

“With me all things are possible (Mt. 19:26).”

“But Lord, I thought we had to go through that maze and find our own way. I thought that it was up to us to find out if the arrows on the ground and the posters on the walls were right. I thought we had to follow the others who said they knew the way, and maybe even run into a few dead ends walls. I was under the impression that…”

“Hush”,

He interrupted,

“Do you want to do it your way, their way, or my way?” (Is. 55:8-11)

With a smile I answered,

“You know my heart, Lord.”

He smiled back and chuckled ,

“I also know your head.”

Then He went on to explain,

“You were told you have to get past the maze. I’ve already been through it and conquered it, now you can follow me, above all else. Just follow me closely, every step.”

I continue, to this day, to follow Christ as He leads me, not down inside the maze, not through the maze, but across the top, above the maze where He walks. He is above it all.

He is leading me past this world of confusion to the other side.

Occasionally He has me hold His strong and mighty hand to reach down for one who is struggling down in the Maze. When they are pulled up they see that it was actually Christ who pulled them up and that we now share the same journey.


Let Him lift you up, pull you out, and set your feet on higher ground. Follow Him. He knows the way. He is The way.


The Holy Spirit laid this on my heart to share with others. I hope it helps clarify God’s grace & mercy for you too.

With 1st Corinthians 13 type love, Tom “beetle” Bailey


EXTRAS

The Way Forward: A Journey Through John 14 (http://bible.com/r/5PS)

Think About It (from link above)

These were Jesus’ last moments with His disciples before everything as they knew it would change. Already, there had been mounting tension and confusion around Jesus’ ministry, and that was nothing compared to the days they were about to face. When Jesus had His last chance to tell His disciples everything they would need to know to get them through the coming turmoil, He began with, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” 

God knows what you’ve been through, and He knows what is still to come and these words said to the disciples then are the words He says to you now. Regardless of your circumstances, His invitation today is to walk in peace by the power of the Holy Spirit. As you look around at uncertainty, frustration, confusion, loss, and change, remember that Jesus knows you; He sees you; and He loves you. Do not let your heart be troubled.  For full 6 day reading plan go to:The Way Forward: A Journey Through John 14 (http://bible.com/r/5PS)

The Password Is…

Enter Password

Enter his gates with thanks; enter his courtyards with praise! Thank him! Bless his name! Because the LORD is good, his loyal love lasts forever; his faithfulness lasts generation after generation.

Psalms 100:4‭-‬5 CEB

https://bible.com/bible/37/psa.100.4-5.CEB

Enter with the password: “Thank you!” Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him. For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever. Psalm 100:4‭-‬5 MSG https://bible.com/bible/97/psa.100.4-5.MSG

Servey The Plain

Think about…

The God Of The Plains  

This is from day 3 of the @YouVersion plan ‘The Holiness Of The Every Day‘. Link at bottom.

We spend most of our lives on the plains. The valley terrifies us. The mountain-top exhilarates. But the majority of our existence is right in between. The long road where you can see for miles. The mundane. The ordinary.

We put a lot of faith in the mountains. As if they hold some secret key that can unlock everything. The secrets of life. The mysteries solved. But the plains still come. The mysteries remain. The mundane perseveres.

We tend to fear the valleys. Fighting to protect ourselves from pain, we set a system in place to keep the sorrow from destroying us.

The result is that the plains get too often neglected. The everyday becomes an arena of apathy, season upon season of complacency. Waiting for what we long for and for what we fear. Missing where we are.

God’s Word tells us to have a grateful heart. Be thankful in your day to day. Embrace this perspective every day. Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians,

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:17

The “all” of our existence leaves nothing for which thanks is not the appropriate attitude.

God is the God of the plains. He is looking over our every day. Our every choice. Every moment, every emotion, every thought, every step. It is a valuable opportunity to see the Presence of God in our lives. There is nothing more essential for the believer than seeing God as Divine in our every day. Only then may we perceive the worth of our choices and the innumerable ways He is communicating with us.

Please look for the 5th part of the plan, Yellow Balloons. In life, we all go through different seasons. Some are on the mountaintop, most in the plains and even in the valley. This series encourages us to choose a truer and godly perspective during any season of our lives.

You just finished day 3 of the @YouVersion plan ‘The Holiness Of The Every Day’. Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/3TJ

To get more from this plan, read the book Yellow Balloons by Tim Dunn. You can download it from http://www.yellowballoons.net/ in the Downloads area using the passcode: Grace

God’s Word

Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:17 GNB

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1‭-‬2 MSG