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The Power of Humility

Years ago a friend of mine was struggling in his restaurant business due to some poor decisions that he had made.  Upon asking for my advice, God revealed to me in a vision one day exactly what my friend needed to do in order to reverse the situation and save his company.  Unfortunately, the first step required operating in a great deal of humility toward his family in order to carry out (no pun intended), but the man was sadly unwilling to comply and in time ended up losing his store and ruined his relationship with his family.  I truly believe if he had responded differently, much of this could have been avoided.

The Bible tells the story of another man who was in danger of losing, not just his business, but his entire kingdom due to a lapse of judgment.  This man’s name was David.

After conducting a secret affair with a married woman, David tried to cover up his initial moral lapse in judgment by having her husband killed on the battlefield.  With each poor choice, David’s sin became compounded; lust, sexual sin, murder, and now deception.  God then revealed his sin to the prophet Nathan and as a result the prophet warned David of God’s judgment and anger against him.  But David’s response was anything but ordinary.

With a seemingly contrite and repentant heart, David confesses, “I have sinned against the Lord.”  It was a simple sentence, but it demonstrated his heart for God.  As such, God spared David’s life and restored his place on the throne of Israel and Judah.  His deliverance was rooted in humility.

Thankfully today, as New Covenant believers, we possess an even greater covenant than David did.  Through the Cross, Christ bore in his body the penalty for sin, and we are now (as believers) no longer in danger of God’s judgment, but this doesn’t excuse the need for humility, nor strip it of its power.  In fact, humility is just as powerful today as it was for David.  Like my friend above, humility can make the difference between experiencing God’s deliverance or falling back into the fruit of our own efforts and works.

Humility offers a simple path to embracing God’s attitude and opinions, and acknowledging that as people, we don’t have it all together.  In the end, it’s one of the most empowering tools that we possess in the kingdom.  In fact, humility is the key to our salvation.  Although salvation is offered to us, by grace through faith, it takes humility to receive it in the first place. Only when our heart is humble can we acknowledge our need for a Savior.

Is God speaking to you today?  Is your heart soft enough to listen and humbly obey?


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Human Connection: Additional Thoughts 6

So far in this series we have learned the importance of staying connected to God in order to live in the fullness of Christ. We learn how to do this through his Word and by relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We also learn to glean God’s truths from the world around us.

This week we will dig deeper into the importance of salvation and how to have hearts that are a garden of good soil in which God can plant his truths in our lives.

Luke 17:20

One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?”Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs.

The kingdom of God is within you. We have Christ in us. We have the Holy Spirit as our helper in this process.

My hope is that we can see our heart more as something connected to a pathway. We need to keep that pathway open and not allow it to get kinked or turned or twisted as opposed to the heart being something that is about did we do right or wrong today.

What is our physical heart connected to? It is connected to vessels and arteries that blood flows through. If they get blocked, bad things happen. They get damaged. You don’t say, “Shame on you, artery.” It’s not like that. It’s about – are you getting life?

Romans 10:1-17

Dear brothers and sister, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.

For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says,

“The message is very close at hand;
    it is on your lips and in your heart.

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If  you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced. 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

16 But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 So, faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

These verses tell us a lot about salvation and Paul’s thoughts on our need for it. The first verse speaks of Israel. If Paul understood the Gospel as everyone is saved, then he doesn’t have to write this. It takes this one verse to disprove universalism.

I want everyone to be saved. But I know that salvation comes by putting faith in Jesus Christ. The work has been done. But we have to put our faith in him. There are a lot of people in grace who are getting on this slippery slope. They are falling into universalism and reconciliation. But Paul understood the Gospel, that it is urgent because there are people who know Christ and who are experiencing him in their lives. And there are people who don’t and who are in danger. We need to take this message to them. There should be an urgency in our gospel.

He goes on to say that the man who lives by the law will live by the law. What that means is if you try to live by the law and you don’t measure up you will live by the consequences of the law. It means you are not good enough. You don’t have what it takes.

If you do good you get good.

If you do bad you get bad.

And guess what? Because the law is perfect and you’re not, according to the law, you are always going to fail. There is no curve with God. God doesn’t grade on a curve. He doesn’t say, “Well, you are better than 90% of the population. So, I’m going to let you in.”

What he does say is – it’s based upon your work or it’s based upon my work. You choose.

Paul begins sharing that you don’t have to go get God. You don’t have to find Christ.

He is in you.


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Human Connection: Additional Thoughts 5

So, we know now that behavior modification doesn’t create heart change. We have to understand that when we connect to God we realize – it’s about what He has done on our behalf – not we have done.

Let me share an analogy with you. I had this kid on my shoulders in the pool and I slipped into the deep end. The kid on my shoulders had Aspergers and was having a great time. He was laughing and kicking and splashing and enjoying himself. He didn’t realize what had happened.  He didn’t know I couldn’t get air and that I was taking in water below him while he was having a good time with his legs wrapped around me.

And the more I pushed to the surface, the less capable I was of getting there with an 85 pound kid on my shoulders. So I did what was the most counter intuitive – I pulled his legs and pulled him under. Immediately he kicked off of me, realizing then what was happening and I was able to come up for air.

This is like the kingdom of God. Jesus lost his life in order to save us. We have to die to self in order for him to raise us up. And the usual method is behavior modification. But behavior modification is incapable of producing the results we want.

Another analogy involves the house my wife and I recently bought. The house has a Koi pond. The pond was really cool and came with fish and we really enjoyed it. Then? Algae.

The pond turned really green and was out of control. The water turned leprechaun green. So we went to the store and bought the proper solution to get rid of the algae. What I wanted to do was just take the skimmer and pull off the algae.

You ever do that? It’s like gardening. You pull the weeds and they come back again. That’s behavior modification. You can pull your weeds, but they’re going to come back every single time.

If I want to get rid of the algae I have to change the nature of the water – the chemical makeup. You have to create a balance on a deeper level and not just skim the surface.

Eventually we’re going to fail if we do this on our own. But if we begin to straighten our heart in order to get connected with God – something happens.

Thankfully, we’re not alone in this. It’s not up to you, by yourself, to straighten out your heart. God is in the business of giving us new hearts. That’s what new birth is. That’s what born again means. Once you put your faith in Christ, the old you dies on a spirit level and the new you comes to life in Christ.

Next week I will wrap up part 3 of this series with more truths God shares with us in his word and in our world – empowering us to live a life that is free in Christ.


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Human Connection: Additional Thoughts 4

I kept yesterday’s section of The Human Connection Series Part 3 short to focus on the life giving points found in today’s portion of this sermon.

The Christian mass in this country sees Christianity as a rules and regulations for moral Christian living. They’re broken because they don’t have the permission to talk about it because they don’t understand grace. We’ve got people that don’t know God at all who are freer with their faults than Christians.

While it’s just a generalization, Christians are some of the hardest people at times to get to admit we screwed up. Stuff can be dealt with so quickly if we just know and recognize and acknowledge God in everything.

Instead, we’ve made it about morality. When most people talk about connecting with God they have made it about trying to change their behavior and they think the outward is good. The inside must be good.

There’s a difference between looking fit and being healthy. You can do a lot of things that make you fit that don’t necessarily make you healthy. For instance, performance drugs give the impression of being fit but they screw up the nervous system.

It’s the same with people who are performance based Christians. They just act like they see other Christians act and do it – out of fear of retribution. But inside the heart is still screwed up.

Your will power only lasts for so long. It’s like exercise. Eventually you give out. Your muscles stop working. Eventually your strength – your will power – will fail. And you won’t be able to do it anymore.

The Kingdom of God is a marathon – not a sprint. It’s not about being holy this week. It’s about walking in relationship with God and knowing him.

When most people understand the grace message, which is God loves you independent of your actions and his grace is what powers us – not our own efforts – what happens is they realize they’re behavior gets worse for a time. They realize God is no longer investigating their lives. It doesn’t feel good to be investigated – ever. This is especially true if you haven’t done anything wrong. And it’s especially true if you think the one investigating you is God.

1 John tells us our hearts can be at rest and we can have confidence on the day of judgment. When people realize this truth, all that stuff – the service, the morality – it falls off because the only reason they were doing them is because they thought it was necessary in order to be righteous. And now they realize they’re righteous because of what Jesus did and not because of what they did.

They think, “Well, I don’t have to do that stuff anymore.”

And there’s this initial tank in their behavior and they think – wait. This grace message was supposed to make me better but now I’m worse.

No, you’re not worse. This is how you really were when you were doing things out of obligation. You are the same as you were. Your heart hasn’t changed. But now we’ve exposed the real you.

That stuff was on your plate before and is now exposed. Stuff you didn’t want to deal with.

And it’s at this moment that you start to connect with God and realize:

  • It’s not about me.
  • I don’t have what it takes.
  • It’s about Jesus.
  • It’s about what he has done.

So now our hearts start changing. Our hearts become unkinked and life starts flowing through them and growing branches in areas we didn’t even know we could. And things start developing. It becomes effortless.

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Human Connection: Additional Thoughts 3

As I said earlier, God is a heart God. He speaks a heart language. To better understand this it’s important to stay connected.

Jesus says he’s the vine and we’re the branches. Whoever stays connected with him has life. This is the kingdom of God that gives life. A person whose pathway is bent is not able to get the nutrients they need.

Ever sit in a certain position for too long and your leg goes to sleep? Your position is wrong. The pathway got bent and couldn’t get what it needed,

Again, these are just physical examples to give spiritual truth.

There are times in our lives when our hearts are bent and God can’t get through. God didn’t stop speaking to you. He doesn’t look at you and see you’ve had a bad week and decide to stop speaking to you. That’s immaturity. God is not immature. He is the perfect example of love. It is us – we get ourselves twisted and can’t experience fully what he has for us.

Proverbs 15:21

Folly brings joy to one who has no sense,
 but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.

A man of understanding – his heart isn’t bent. It’s straight. It’s on a path.

Proverbs 3:6

In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

This particular verse is from the Amplified Bible. If you ever getbored with the translation you use, the Amplified Bible expands on the word for you.

If we just acknowledge him in all our ways… There’s no “secular”. It – this life – it is all our life in Christ. It can’t be compartmentalized. And when you get that – you want to keep your heart straight. You don’t want to get crooked or take a path that you know isn’t God.


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The Human Connection Part 2, Day 1

In Review:

This is a both/and series. The point is divided into two parts: how we relate to one another and on the spiritual plain – how we relate to God.

And just how does this thing called connectivity relate to God?

Part of this series is philosophical and psychological. So, why talk about it in church? Something doesn’t always have to have scripture and verse next to it to be true. Scripture encompasses all truth. But, there are principals we can’t tie to just one verse. We’re looking at the whole chasm of scripture in how we relate to one another.The example of this is when Jesus related to others and how we do so in this natural world in which we live now.

Rom. 1:20

 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse

You can look at the natural and physical world and glean spiritual understanding and truths.

There’s a connection there – to this natural world because it’s a shadow we use to point to or connect to thespiritual world.

I want to be careful to say this is not a doctrinal thesis. I’m sharing these things as I understand them and invite you to grow and learn with me.

In the first part of the series I introduced the topic or idea of the kingdom of God. This is different than thekingdom of heaven which refers to the physical rule and reign of Jesus Christ.  When Scripture refers to the kingdom of God it’s talking about this invisible realm in which we connect to God and each other.

Luke 17:20-21

 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of thekingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ becausethe kingdom of God is in your midst.


The kingdom of God is within you. Christ in you – where spiritual interactions transpire.  I also talked about theimportance of connecting with one another. We need to connect for relationship and synergy. If you look at thedictionary definition, it explains synergy as the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements…Together we can do so much more than we can on our own. We want to be able to shape those around us in a positive way. To impact those within our personal sphere of influence as well as exponentially through the relationships we build with others.

I intertwined some exciting side notes about quantum physics as well. When we talk about quantum physics it points to the kingdom of God. Not because quantum physics is the kingdom of God, but because God has made himself known through what he has created. It shows us there’s a more true, if you will, physical realm with spiritual laws. It shows us the consistency of God.

In Grace we have a fear of anything that calls itself or is known by law. But God operates by laws.For instance:

He will never violate your will.

He won’t force himself upon you.

Those are laws by which he governs himself. That’s not legalism. Those are principals by which he operates around.

When the Bible says we’re free from the law it means we’re free from using the law as a method by which we obtain righteousness. It’s not that the law no longer has truth in it as though we can disconnect ourselves from it. It’s that it’s not the source of our righteousness.

The kingdom of God works every single time we let it.

Prov. 13:20

Walk with the wise and become wise,  for a companion of fools suffers harm

The entanglement theory is this: every time two things interact they will become connected to some degree. God’s principles and laws are consistent. It all points to the fact that we’re all connected and need each other. And how cool is it that we can be entangled in what Jesus did on the cross because he became a man and those who put their faith in him become entangled in him and we get what he deserves because he got what we deserve? That’s powerful.


So, what does all of this mean? We’re going to look into that in this part of the Human Connection series. We’re going to talk about making contact.

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The Final Secret: Part 5

2 Corinthians 6:2

For he says,

“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”[a]

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

The key to this is just putting Him first.

We talk about the timing of God. You’ve heard it before.

“In God’s time…”

“In the Lord’s timing…”

Basically, it’s a way of people saying they really don’t believe in you, but if God wants it to happen he’ll surprise me. That’s the undertone. That’s the condescending, “In God’s timing.”

In reality, God is a present God. His timing is now. Today is the day of salvation.

I believe heaven is actually – fully – a present environment. Meaning you are fully in the now.

We talk about it, but seldom do we grasp that God wants us to experience everything he has for us right now.  That’s not how we think. We talk about it, but what we’re actually saying are words from a heart filled with doubt.

I ask people what they want to do and some want to be surgeons, musicians, to teach children life skills…yet, they’re doing something entirely different. So then I ask, “What are you doing today to work that out?”

“How are you putting God first to see it come to fruition?”

But, we compartmentalize our will and God’s will because we think they’re two different things. We think “I want to do this, but if I seek God’s will – his will for my life is going to suck.” So, we wait to do God’s stuff because we think it’s going to suck. But, the Bible says today is the day of salvation.

And, you know what? I realized this: God made you. And God made all the desires of your heart. And when you walk in them he fulfills them.

God’s not going to take you to a place that’s miserable. That’s not spirituality. I’ve met a lot of Christians who think being miserable is spirituality. But my guess is they’re not actually doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

The church I grew up in allowed me to become more involved the older I got. I helped out, led studies, and took offering, helped with communion. One day I asked one of the ladies how long she had been helping set up for communion. She told me she had been doing it for 18 years. I asked her what she liked about it and she shocked me with her reply. “Nothing.” Because she had to get up early to set up and she was miserable. And some would say she was doing God’s will when in fact she was just going through religious calisthenics. She thought she needed to be a slave for Jesus. There’s no reason to return to bondage. He has set you free.

When you are doing what God wants for your life it should produce love. And love should produce an individual expression of how youy can use your time and talent and energy for God. It’s going to be something you love.

God’s timing is not about all the spiritual stuff. God’s timing is now. The question is – do we have the intention to actually do it some day? Because a lot of dreams and callings we have – we want God’s blessings and his wisdom. So, why aren’t we doing it today?

We should want to do his will today and walk it out.  In finances, relationships, health…

When we submit our intentions to his way of thinking the result is action. The result is blessing. The result is – we experience just what we desire.

Some people say, “I can’t wait to be a millionaire because I want to give so much money away.”

My question is, “How much are you giving away now? A dollar? Five?” The amount doesn’t matter. What matters is the intention of the heart. And if you’re not generous now – you won’t be generous then. If you are not generous with your time now – you won’t be generous with your time then – when you’re financially free.

If you’re living for yourself now – you’re going to live for yourself later.

The question is – today is the day of salvation. God wants to invade your way of thinking and transform your attitude. And guess what – it’s IN you.

That grace, that seed – it’s been planted. You don’t have to dig it up. It’s there. It’s growing and it might take longer than you thought, but His grace is growing in you.

If you continue to put him first – not out of performance, but out of understanding that his way is the way to a blessed future – to our preferred reality…His path is the path to that if you understand that you will experience the life of your dreams.

Sure, there’s an enemy and he wants to choke you out. But greater is the One in you. And we don’t have to be afraid.

1 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

God’s wisdom is really simple.

Seek Him.

Seek what he has to say.

Remember when I started this series – I asked you to close your eyes and ask yourself what your life would look like if it was working? Once again I want to ask you to close your eyes. And this time I want you to ask yourself what your life would look like if you put God first. It should look better than the first time you pictured it. Because, now you have the secret. And the secret is simply this: Put God first. 

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The Final Secret: Part 4

2 Corinthians 3:6

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

I’m a recovering legalist. There was a time in my life when my relationship with God was based on how well I did and how well I performed. But, that’s not the Gospel.

The verse from Ephesians reminds us that the law brings death. It’s taken me a long time to realize that. If something isn’t working in my life there’s a simple reason. I’m not talking about those things that take time. There’s seed time and harvest. Sometimes we have to plant seeds and wait for them to germinate. We have to wait for them to develop and we seek a harvest on that.

I’m talking about things that are flat out not working and you know they’re not working. Whether it’s a relationship, how you’re connected to people, how you talk to people; maybe your financial goals and you realize – this just isn’t working. Weight loss, parenting, a dream… If something isn’t working in my life I’ve found that I’m not operating in grace in that area. Because – GRACE WORKS.

Grace works every single time. It gives life. It increases, it prospers, and it grows. Grace works. There’s life in it. It’s that life giving seed planted in the ground and you know what it will do.

For about three years my wife Krissy and I planted a garden. Before I go any further – you know we’ve all had our dumb moments. We’ve all done stupid things. This was one of those things for me. No joke, the first year I planted the seeds – I’m looking at the back of the package and it says the corn will grow in 6-10 days. Day 6, day 7…I was getting irritated because there was nothing there.

So, I’m serious – I actually went to the garden and dug up the corn to see if the seeds had germinated. And I immediately remembered Jesus’ parable in which He says no one plants a field and then digs it up to see if it’s growing. And I was like, well, this kid does!

And as silly as all that sounds – we do it all the time. We say, “God, you said this was what I was supposed to do. Is it working? Why isn’t it working yet?” And we push and prod and pull.

Bottom line – grace works. And it develops in our lives and we cannot stop that.

What doesn’t work is legalism and law and performance. When we have that kind of thinking and are consistently falling apart in our finances – then there’s legalism. It’s an attitude of lack and performance in our finances that is preventing that area from growing and developing.

Believe that God wants you to prosper and that it happens when we put him first and we worry about him and we let him worry about us. That’s the starting point. We have to start there – in parenting, health – we have to look in the mirror and ask, “Lord, am I doing this through grace?”

There are still those areas in my life as a grace pastor that I’m still open to that I haven’t yet been able to identify. Areas that God is going to show me and he’s going to eradicate those blind spots and I’m going to be able to walk in grace in those areas. And that’s humility that allows us to ask for help.

God uses others to speak to us when we can’t see it ourselves. He uses others to share these areas – but I have a rule. I do not let someone who doesn’t understand the Gospel of grace to speak into my life on heart issues, heart level – grace oriented stuff. Other areas – tech stuff, construction – sure. But, not heart matters because it’s the heart of the Gospel of Grace.

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The Final Secret: Part 3

Seek FIRST His kingdom and righteousness.

Religion reads like this: seek first His kingdom and righteousness PLUS you have to be a good moral person THEN all these things will be added to you. Basically, it’s performance.

If you do good you’ll get good. Well, I have news for you – the world calls that karma. It’s no different than what Buddha or Gandhi taught. It’s not the Gospel. The Gospel says seek his kingdom and righteousness. And what is righteousness? It’s something that was given to us as a free gift through what Jesus Christ did on the cross. It was given to us so we CAN’T earn it. We can’t strive for it. It’s by grace through faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Did you see that? It’s a free gift.

 So, we seek first the kingdom and righteousness. We’re putting our attention on God’s kingdom which does not end and His righteousness which is a free gift in our lives. And as long as I’m content to keep my focus on his kingdom and righteousness which works in my life I realize that as I walk in this world I’m already blessed beyond belief. And that allows me to be content no matter my circumstances. And it allows me to walk in a room with confidence, knowing I’ve got somebody’s miracle inside of me. I’ve got somebody’s solution to prosper their company.

Let me give you an example. I used to wait tables. I would go into interviews at restaurants and tell them I needed Sundays off. The hiring manager would nod and agree that everyone wants Sundays off. When I told those interviewing me why – that I was a preacher – they were always a little surprised. Then I would add that I really preferred Saturday nights off work too. They thought I was crazy to want Saturday nights off. That’s when servers stand to make the most tips. So, I would give them something to chew on. I told them, “Let me have Saturday night off and I’ll make more money each week than anyone else here and your business will be better while I’m employed here.”

I wasn’t cocky. I wasn’t arrogant. I wanted to see it come to pass. I had favor in jobs. I would get time off to travel. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t my personality. It boiled down to this – do you believe that God is calling you to do what you’re doing? Are you willing to make that your first priority? Are you willing to say, “Lord, you’ve set me on this path and told me you’ll be faithful to walk this out and I trust that your word works.”

It doesn’t mean that you won’t have to sometimes do thins you don’t want to do. God hasn’t failed you if you have to work Saturday nights. We don’t have to take it to extremes. Let’s be rational. Don’t leave your mind at home. 

There’s an art to just asking simply, “Lord, what do you want for my life right now? What do you want me to do?” 

The concept is simple, but the outcome is drastically different.

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The Human Connection: Part 5

Yesterday we learned that we are intrinsically connected to one another and why that is so important to keep that in mind if others are going to experience God through us. Today we are going to go over two final points as we wrap up Part One of the series The Human Connection.

 So, we know that firstly, we’re intrinsically connected to those around us.

  • Secondly, your words have power.    

 God created the world by speaking, “Let there be light.” 

“Let there be an expanse.” 

“Let there be stars.”

God began speaking words and those things existed.

A few years ago scientists discovered this particle that has a sound imprint on it. This particle is on everything we see. God’s voice leaves a mark. Like a record, it etched itself into every single atom. It’s like gold bars that are stamped or cows that are branded with the owner’s brand.

God stamped every single atom with his sound imprint, showing this is Mine. Scientists give it various names and explanations, but it’s God and his voice because he gave it life. He spoke the world before he ever saw it happen.

Proverbs 4:20-23

My son, be attentive to my words;
    incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not escape from your sight;
    keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
    and healing to all their[a] flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
    for from it flow the springs of life.

Out of our hearts come these thoughts and words and we have to be careful what we say. It’s not for the religious reasons we were taught when we were young, as if just our words are immoral. It’s not that words are just immoral; it’s about life and death

Is your word bringing life? Is what you are saying giving life or are your words bringing death?

How are you speaking over your children?

How are you speaking about your family?

How are you referring to yourself?

This is why self talk is so important. Psychologists are realizing this, even with children. Entire curriculums are being written that teach kids how to talk.

For instance, a kid says, “I’m stupid. I’ll never get that.”

The teacher redirects him and instructs him to say, “I’m smart. I can do this.”

Now, that’s still a secular realm. How much more so when we begin to take God’s Word – this super powerful, super-charged Word…we speak that into our lives. And something happens. It begins to change our situation.

  • Lastly, the kingdom of God is the realm of the heart. 

We can influence the world around us by keeping in step with the word of God in our hearts. 

Paul says this in Galatians 5:16- 18 & 22 – 23.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 

He tells us to keep in step with the Spirit, to restore gently, to watch self. 


When we begin investing our lives in someone who has a problem it begins to open us up to their problems. Basically, make sure you’re the one influencing the situation and that the situation isn’t influencing you.

We also have this unsettling way of trying to justify ourselves amongst ourselves.

“Well, they’re doing that.”

And it creates this mentality: “It’s okay to live like this because so-and-so lives like this. At least I’m not alone.”

That’s just the psychology of it. Help others around you, but don’t allow them to steal life from you because it goes deeper to emotional and spiritual levels.

Keep in step with the Spirit of God. As we do, we see truths that work.

1. Relationship

2. Synergy

3. Influence

As we continue to develop these I’m going to continue the series and I will be touching on leveraging the heart. I’ll be teaching on walking free from strife, which connects with Paul’s words about how we can stay connected with each other without stirring strife. Because there is a tendency in us – that we don’t like to see others succeed and when someone is doing well but we’re not – something negative happens. Strife stirs up in us as humans. So, we want to be careful and prevent Babel and present something that is built on rebellion as opposed to something that’s on track.

There’s something profound happening in the body of Christ and the unity of Grace in the grace churches around the world. We see a position today to change what we know as faith in God on a global level. The only thing stopping it is our ability to connect with each other. 

Why? We get afraid. We get afraid and put up guards over differences on points that don’t matter in the greater scheme of things. And we have a really bad habit of killing revival in this world based on petty disagreements and lack of connectivity.

If we can learn to connect – to come into agreement with one another for good -we can change the world.

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