Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

Wednesday Prayer – April 1, 2020 

Why is Jesus full of compassion and mercy?

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God’s mercy

Nothing moves me to forgive like the stunning knowledge that I have myself been forgiven. Nothing proves more clearly that I have been forgiven than my own readiness to forgive.

To forgive and to be forgiven, to show mercy and to receive mercy: these belong indissolubly together, as Jesus illustrated in his parable of the unmerciful servant.

Interpreted in the context of the beatitudes, it is ‘the meek’ who are also ‘the merciful’. For to be meek is to acknowledge to others that I am a sinner; to be merciful is to have compassion on others, for they are sinners too.

What should we do about those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which we learned?

Deception

They are smooth. They are slick. They flatter me.

What’s the problem? I need to be discerning. There are those who want to deceive me. They want to lead me astray.

We have a lot to learn here. There is a rabbit hole. We seem to keep jumping down it, expecting a different outcome. It isn’t working.

Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Master the Messiah but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. | Romans 16:17-20

What is the good news? Jesus leads me, through the Holy Spirit, into His Truth. Jesus is the Truth. I can take refuge in Him.

Jesus is clear that I can tell a tree by its fruit. “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Matthew 7:17)

How do I know there is a problem? One clue is the fruit of dissension. Dissension here (from the Greek) means divisions which wrongly separate people into pointless (groundless) factions.

Uh Oh! I see a whole lot of this going on. I get sucked into it many days. Ye Gads!

What am I to do about it?

Paul is clear. Turn away from them. They have set a trap for me to hinder me in my growth in the Messiah. I need to be wise. I need to focus on the good.

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Our Mission & Vision

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships

Our Vision is to see generations of leaders victoriously modeling Jesus in their families and communities.

Our Mission is training believers to live a victorious life through biblical Truth, experiential discipleship, and family relationships. 

Values

Life is:

1) Relationships

2) Personal Holiness

3) Biblical

4) Authentic

5) Relevant

Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Are you on the train to heaven? Will you take it all the way to its destination?

What should we learn from the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16?

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Let’s think about the account told by Jesus of a very rich man who lived a life of extreme luxury. It is found in Luke 16.

Laid outside the gate of this rich man’s house was an extremely poor man named Lazarus who simply hoped “to eat what fell from the rich man’s table” (v. 21). The rich man was completely indifferent to the plight of Lazarus, showing him no love, sympathy, or compassion whatsoever.

They both died. Lazarus went to heaven, and the rich man went to hell. Appealing to “Father Abraham” in heaven, the rich man requested that Lazarus be sent to cool his tongue with a drop of water to lessen his “agony in this fire.” The rich man also asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to warn his brothers to repent so that they would never join him in hell.

Is there a conflict between grace and the law?

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Grace

The purpose of the Law was, basically, to bring us to the Messiah. It is essential to start here. Once I understand the purpose of the law, I can move on.

What would I move on to? How about grace? That would be a good start.

With the result that the Law has become our tutor and our disciplinarian to guide us to the Messiah, so that we may be justified, that is, declared free of the guilt of missing God’s goal (aka sin) and its penalty, and placed in right standing with God by faith. (Galatians 3:24).

How will we see God? What does it take?

Man after Gods heart
A man after God’s heart

Jesus is clear. His apostle John is clear. My heart testifies to me what I ought to do. There is no lack of clarity what Jesus commands regarding love and compassion. It is written on my heart by God.

The Bible mentions the human heart almost 300 times. In essence, this is what it says: the heart is that spiritual part of us where our emotions and desires dwell.

How do we gain insight, wisdom or knowledge?

Image result for spiritual insight

Insight is the spiritual quality that enables me to appreciate God’s mind and will. I will know about matters of behavior, truth and providence, especially where right perception is not obvious.

Insight is akin to wisdom and understanding. It is the “why” of the heart of God.

It is given by God and is to be sought by believers.

Gaining insight into the Bible is important because the scripture is God’s Word. When I open the Bible, I read God’s message. What could be more important than insight into what the Creator of the universe has to say?

Am I afraid?

In the Bible, courage is also called “good cheer” as in Mark 6:50 when Jesus gave the command to the disciples who saw Him walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee and coming toward them.

Am I afraid? Yes, many days I am. The good news is that Jesus gives me courage. I have the power of the Holy Spirit in my life.

What does ‘woe’ mean and why does Jesus use it so much?

Woe
Woe

When we see the word WOE in the scripture, particularly when Jesus uses it, we know we better pay attention. Jesus has lots to say, all prefaced with WOE! Jesus is speaking to the leaders of the day. Jesus is speaking to the elites.

I am going to pay attention. Jesus is talking to me. I must learn.

This is critical in my life. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.

Whenever we see the word “woe” in the New Testament, then it is always a translation of the Greek word “ouai“. This Greek word “ouai” is used 47 times in the New Testament: 41 times in 33 verses it is translated as “woe“, and six times in three verses it is translated as “alas“.

Blessed to have been ministering for 50 years! 

Hosts of the Inn’s 50th celebration, Cal and Beau Huge, share their own testimony of the impact the Christian Training Center has had in their lives while they have lined up for our celebration taking place this fall!

We have special guest speakers, 2019 NBA hall of fame Bobby Jones and renowned author/businessman John Beckett joining us!

https://ctcilife.org/50th-anniversary/

What does it mean to listen to God’s word and his spokesmen?

What does Jesus want from us? Jesus wants us to listen. Jesus wants us to be a good and faithful servant.

My mission is to do what Master Jesus wants me to do, today and every day. Listening involves doing. Loving my neighbor involves action.

To hear God’s voice I must belong to God. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

What should we learn from the stunning resurrection of Lazarus?

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Jesus Friend Request

Here I see the care and compassion of my Master. It appeared somewhat callous to begin with.

Lazarus is sick. Jesus intentionally delays going to see him. The disciples don’t understand at all what is going on.

Jesus knows what is going to happen. Jesus knows the power of God will raise Lazarus from the dead. Fasten your seat belts, it is all going down in an amazing way.

After 4 days in the grave, Jesus is going to raise Lazarus from the dead. This will shock everyone. Many are going to believe Jesus because of this amazing show of the power of God.

Is our faith on cruise control?

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I shouldn’t let my faith go on cruise control. The Apostle Paul urges disciples of Jesus to examine themselves. I need to be critical of how I am doing in my walk with Jesus. I need others to help me.

Is it possible to start strong and end weak?

Is it just about the beginning?

What if I run out of energy and can’t finish the race?

Do I think that going to church once a week and occasionally reading the bible is enough?

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus the Messiah is in you — unless indeed you fail the test?

2 Corinthians 13:5

Is self-denial a requirement of following Jesus the Messiah?

Self Denial

There is much to be said about self denial and the scripture repeats this theme over and over.

Jesus is clear.

The Apostles and their letters are clear.

God is clear.

The Holy Spirit is clear.

Do I get it?

Self-Denial — Is it a requirement of following Jesus the Messiah?

Gospel Choir Jam 2020

Join CTCI for our first annual “Gospel Jam Choir” July 31, 2020 at Parker Meadows Complex in Franklin, NC. If you are interested in signing, sign up at this link

https://ctcilife.org/gospel-choir-jam/

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Why this level of hate of Jesus by the religious leaders?

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Jesus was constantly getting under the skin of the religious leaders and scholars. At the conclusion of the story Jesus tells, they wanted to stone him.

Why this level of hate of Jesus by the religious leaders? Jesus saw what was in their heart, pointed it out clearly, and wouldn’t back down. They were constantly being embarrassed and the people loved Jesus.

How should we approach suffering?

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Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?

Source: Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)

God has a goal in mind for me. God’s goal includes suffering. God’s goal includes victory. It isn’t either/or. It is yes/and.

What is the outcome if we act on what Jesus commanded?

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What is God’s goal for me? My job is to be a servant of God. That is it. There is nothing else to it. Jesus made that clear in his example of how he lived his life. Jesus was only here to do what God had in mind. Here is the problem. I like to be served and not be a servant. I love a great meal and the wonderful service of an amazing restaurant. So … I’ve got a problem, don’t I.

Why should we stand up straight and take the truth from Jesus?

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So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

Source: John 8:31-33 NASB

There is a special arrogance that believes I am not enslaved … to anyone. It is special because it is flat out wrong. It is a lie and it comes from the evil one.

Why watch out for yeast?

Image result for jesus unleavened bread Matthew 16

It is only one slight difference in an ingredient in breads. A tortilla or cracker is remarkable different from San Francisco sour dough bread. The difference is yeast.

Jesus is challenging me to understand that this is a spiritual issue, not a physical issue.

I am to keep a sharp eye for the yeast of Religious Leaders and elites. It doesn’t take much yeast for it to cause bread to rise. The result is remarkably different. So it was with the doctrines of the Religious Leaders. They are insinuating, artful, plausible. They conceal the real tendency of their doctrines; they instill them secretly into the mind, until they pervaded all my faculties like leaven.

Who messed up?

Who missed God’s goal (aka sinned)? Somebody did something to cause this and it will help me if i can blame them.

That can be the assumption. I am wounded. I am hurt. I suffer. I want to blame someone. Surely someone messed up.

Who, we ask?

God has something He wants to do. But Jesus doesn’t allow this kind of thinking about who caused something or who’s fault it is. He brought healing and salvation into our fallen world. He loves us. He is good. He doesn’t do evil.

Why should we never fear?

Madison Ortiz reminds all, with different passages of Scripture, that we should never fear or be dismayed with anything of this world because the Messiah has and will always be with us!

2 Timothy 1:7 Christian Standard Bible (CSB) | For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

Why is spring is the Season of Hope?

Erica Wilson shares about Spring, the season of hope.

Romans 1:20 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse.

http://www.ctcilife.org

Does God connect all the dots for His plan?

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Jesus connects the dots

God is God. God can do anything he wants. The religious leaders were trying to figure out how to do Jesus in. The Chief Priest that year, Caiaphas, brought them up short.

God had a plan. Caiaphas didn’t want to say what he said. Caiaphas didn’t know he was going to say that.

God chose him and used him to help complete his plan. Jesus would die.

That was God’s plan. The religious leaders would now carry it out because of what God had Caiaphas say. It all fit together.

Is there a miracle with your name on it?

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King David knows he can speak honestly with God. King David is clear about his despair. He feels like God has turned his back on the King and all David can see is the back of God’s head. I can speak honestly with God. There are times I’m in despair. God knows it. Why should I try to hid it? Best to “fess up”.

King David embodies Thanks-Living. Even in his despair, the King throws himself into God’s arms. The King celebrates being rescued by God, even though he hasn’t been rescued yet. I am challenged to live a life of “Thanks-Living”. Am I seeing what God is doing today or focused on what he isn’t doing?

Jesus challenges me to thank God and see what God is doing, not what He is not. God has answered my prayers. God has healed me. God has delivered me from the evil one. God is in a good mood and I know it.

Long enough, God—
    you’ve ignored me long enough.
I’ve looked at the back of your head
    long enough. Long enough
I’ve carried this ton of trouble,
    lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies
    have looked down their noses at me.

Take a good look at me, God, my God;
    I want to look life in the eye,
So no enemy can get the best of me
    or laugh when I fall on my face.

I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms—
    I’m celebrating your rescue.
I’m singing at the top of my lungs,
    I’m so full of answered prayers.

Source: Psalm 13

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About the Christian Training Center

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

The Christian Training Center International was founded in the early 1970’s as The Inn of the Last Resort. It is now known throughout the world for its outreach to families, Christian leaders, and young people. Our focus is to enable individuals – especially young men and women – to face and overcome the mounting issues and pressures in their daily lives. Learn more here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Are we being too heavenly minded?

How many times have I thought, this is all about heaven? A lot I am thinking. I am reminded of how my dad would point out about someone that “they were so heavenly minded they were no earthly good”. The only day I have is today. I may not see tomorrow.

God is God. Today is the day I have a chance to demonstrate Jesus is in control. As Jesus said “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Jesus challenges me think about the here and now. This is not pie in the sky by and by. Jesus is in control now. His death, resurrection, ascension and deliver of the Holy Spirit in power has established the Kingdom. His teaching us how to pray confirmed that “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” It is all about what God wants right now. 

The Country of God (aka the Kingdom) is a reality now. Jesus said ““The kingdom of God doesn’t come by counting the days on the calendar. Nor when someone says, ‘Look here!’ or, ‘There it is!’ And why? Because God’s kingdom is already among you.” (Luke 17)

Then he drove it home by saying, “This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you who are standing here are going to see it happen, see the kingdom of God arrive in full force.”

Source: Mark 9:1

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Has the Kingdom of God already come?

Jesus is King

When will God’s country (aka the kingdom) come? That was and is the big question. The Messiah (the Anointed One) would usher it in.

It has already happened, Jesus declared. Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah. Jesus came to us over 2,000 years ago. He established God’s country. I am a citizen of God’s country right now. Nothing to look forward to from that point of view.

Why do we resent God’s discipline?

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God has a goal for us. Primarily God wants us to grow up and not be a child our whole life. Growing up requires discipline from a father.

God is in a good mood and disciplines us for a reason. It is out of true love.

So, what is the goal of discipline?

“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)”

Is anything impossible with God?

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Jesus knows that nothing is impossible with God. It is in his heart, he believes it, he thinks about it all the time and he acts on it. God is great.

Jesus challenges me to know God’s greatness. I need to get it in my core. I don’t get to take a pass on this part of God’s country (aka Kingdom). God is great. When Jesus challenges me to produce a miracle, how do I react? Am I up to the challenges of Jesus?

In God’s country, there is always more than enough and food is left over. God is in a good mood and provides more than I need. I can count on Jesus.

When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick.

Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper.”

But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper.”

“All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish,” they said.

Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.

Source: Matthew 14:13-21

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Susan Pons Book – “And There Was Evening and There Was Morning…”

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Have you read Susan Corbett Pons book “And There was Evening and There was Morning”? It will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. Check out Susan’s book here.

Susan Pons grew up in Valdese, North Carolina. Prior to her marriage, she performed professionally on stage and dinner theaters. The mother of four and grandmother of six, she and her husband, Larry, direct Christian Training Center, International, a ministry dedicated to the restoration of families. She has loved her life.

Check out Susan’s book here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Learn more about our programs here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Is Jesus in the drivers seat?

There is a realization I need to come to daily and it is a tough one.

I am not in control. I am not in the drivers seat and I really like the control that comes by driving. Having acted on letting Jesus be in control yesterday and not today isn’t very helpful. Every day I have to know it and live it.

God is God. God has given over control of everything to Jesus. I am to be a faithful servant, finding out what Jesus wants me to do and then doing it.

God has a goal for me. I may not know what God’s goal for me is for a year from now. That is a problem because I love to plan. I can know for today, for right now. If nothing else, I can talk with God (aka pray) and thank him for the long list of things he is doing for me, my family and my country.

I can find out how Jesus wants me to love my boss. We are in a meeting and he is droning on about the same old same old. What does love look like in that meeting?

There is a long list of people I will interact with today. Jesus is in the drivers seat. What should I do to support his message of love? While it became a little overused in some circles, it still is all about “What would Jesus do?”

“You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am.” ~Jesus Source: Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)

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Our Mission & Vision

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships

Our Vision is to see generations of leaders victoriously modeling Jesus in their families and communities.

Our Mission is training believers to live a victorious life through biblical Truth, experiential discipleship, and family relationships. 

Values

Life is:

1) Relationships

2) Personal Holiness

3) Biblical

4) Authentic

5) Relevant

Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Was Jesus on a mission?

Image result for glorify jesus
Glorify Jesus

Jesus was on a mission. It would be a painful and horrible death. Jesus knew what would happen. Jesus was going to see it through all the way to the end. God had given Jesus a goal.

Jesus was joyful for what God was going to do through him. Jesus asked to go through the pain and suffering for our salvation. Jesus was intent.

Did God stay silent? Not at all. God spoke.

God is God and God has the final word. God has glorified Jesus through his obedient act of sacrifice. God raised him from the dead and Jesus, living eternally, now sits at God’s right hand.

“Right now I am storm-tossed. What am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”

A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.” Source: John 12:27-28

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Are we ready to be servants?

The last will be first | Leadership the Jesus Way

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Jesus, the perfect servant

Jesus is clear about what is important. It is not about being a leader. It is not about who sits in authority at the right hand of Jesus. It is not even about being a servant leader. Jesus never talks about that.

Jesus calls on us to be servants. That is it. There is nothing else. That is our daily job. We live it out at work and at home.

Jesus only came to serve us and sacrifice for us. It is God that put Jesus in charge of God’s country (aka Kingdom). Jesus simply did what his Father wanted him to do.

How do we tune our ears to Wisdom?

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Wisdom – Proverbs 2:1

There is an amazing world out there filled with Wisdom. It is the wonderful world of Jesus. Jesus provides us with great Wisdom. Jesus provides us a life of understanding. God is in a stunning mood.

Will I see what God is doing today?

Should we “just suck it up”?

Self Control

When I was a young man, we used the phrase “just suck it up”. We used it a lot. We didn’t like whiners and complainers. If things were tough or people were giving you a hard time, you had what we politely know of as self-control.

“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.” | Matthew 5:39–40 (NASB)

Where will Jesus lead us?

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Jesus on Leadership

Jesus is clear about what it takes to follow him (i.e. be a Christian). There is no ambiguity here at all. I have to do it.

I have to change my mind (aka repent) about who is in charge. Jesus is in charge. A follower of Jesus commits to letting Jesus lead. God is God. I am not. This is the “main thing about the main thing”. Everything starts here.

So where is Jesus going to lead me? Jesus leads me to the cross. Suffering is ahead of me. I have to sacrifice what I think God would do to let Jesus be in control. This is not easy stuff for me. I don’t want to suffer. I really don’t.

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.” ~Jesus

Source: Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

What does Jesus require of us?

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I am compelled, by Jesus our Master, to drop everything that takes me away from talking and writing about the good news of life of salvation. We share this in common. We live it together.

What does Jesus say when I say “I don’t get it”?

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Jesus is clear. Jesus doesn’t pull any punches. Yet, I say “I don’t get it.”

Really? I don’t get it? I say that to Jesus? Of course I do.

I say “Why is this happening to me?” — meaning I don’t get it. It takes a lot of different forms but the essence of what I’m saying is “I don’t get it.”

How does Jesus react to that? Oops! Here it comes. Jesus says “Are you being willfully stupid?”

Not only is Jesus clear, he is direct with me. I don’t get to skate off having pretending I don’t know what is going on. Jesus won’t let me get away with that. All I can do is admit that I am.

What does Jesus do? Jesus, politely and kindly, explains it to me. God’s goal for me is to understand, even when I like to pretend I don’t get it.

Peter said, “I don’t get it. Put it in plain language.”

Jesus replied, “You, too? Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you know that anything that is swallowed works its way through the intestines and is finally defecated? But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart. It’s from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and cussing. That’s what pollutes. Eating or not eating certain foods, washing or not washing your hands—that’s neither here nor there.” Source: Matthew 15:15-20

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

Leadership the Jesus Way: A Faith at Work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Will I live the radical life Jesus called me to live?

Radical Sayings of Jesus

I am resolved to do something out of the ordinary. I commit to living a super-ordinary life in Jesus. I will live the radical life Jesus called me to live.

It was Henry David Thoreau who wrote, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” I don’t admire Thoreau as a theologian, but I think he largely got it right in this quote describing the normal human condition and maybe the condition of lots of Christians.

I believe that most of us, including myself, get bogged down in the routines of life. I have nothing against routines, except when they become my master. Much can be said about the righteousness of living a careful, responsible life before God. But, this is not at issue for me in this resolution.

My fear is that the life Jesus lived and died to give us (“I came that they may have life and have it to the full.” John 10:10) can get lost in the devotion to safety, health and routine. I’m not advocating going out today to partake in some “extreme” thrill sport. I’m simply encouraging myself to do something outside of my normal routine, to experience life outside the lines I’ve drawn, to provide myself with the opportunity to “sing my song” and be bold in Jesus. Jesus challenges me leave ordinary behind and live a super-ordinary life in Him.

Today is the day. Now is the time.

God is ready to do amazing things. His Holy Spirit is in me and that is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. I can live an extra-ordinary life in Him.

How? Maybe it’s as simple as, at the prompting of God, taking the long way home from the store or work to gain a new perspective on the world right around me that otherwise goes unnoticed. Maybe Jesus wants to perform a miracle in someones life I don’t normally see. Maybe He wants me to be the Good Samaritan.

God’s goal for me will be reveled by Him to me TODAY.

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Are we receiving comfort through our wealth?

Jesus lays out the principles of the Kingdom of God. This excerpt is from what is known as the Sermon on the Plain. It is similar but slightly different than the Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon, he also has a series of “woe to you” statements.

Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: “Happy are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Happy are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Happy are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”

But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.” Source: Luke 6:20-21, 24

What does it mean to ask according to the will of Jesus?

Jesus is wrapping things up. They’ve had the last supper and Jesus has laid out the new contract (aka covenant, testament or agreement). He is giving them a series of last insights before the crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension occur. Every thing is going to move very fast from here but this is very important.

“This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks”  Source: John 16:23-24 (The Message)

Am I ready to sacrifice what I want for what Jesus wants?

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Jesus is ushering in the Kingdom (aka country) of God. In the Kingdom, things are different. The Kingdom is all about the new contract Jesus has with us. One of the things that is different is the Jesus makes it clear that following him will be difficult. Don’t think so? Just ask the rich young ruler or the man who wanted a little time to go bury his father.

Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for? Source: Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)

Am we ready for what Jesus is going to say to us?

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Judas Iscariot betrays Jesus

When Jesus says he has something hard but important to say I am guessing it is time to pay attention. Something is going on here. I’m not sure I see it all but I can’t ignore this important message “from our sponsor”. Jesus doesn’t pull any punches. Breaking news!

After sunset he came with the Twelve. As they were at the supper table eating, Jesus said, “I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators, one who at this moment is eating with me.” Stunned, they started asking, one after another, “It isn’t me, is it?”

He said, “It’s one of the Twelve, one who eats with me out of the same bowl. In one sense, it turns out that the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures—no surprises here. In another sense, the man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man—better never to have been born than do this!” Source: Mark 14:17-21 (The Message)

Does Jesus know what is in our hearts? Is He impressed?

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This all came about because Jesus didn’t wash his hands before he ate. Seriously. This was a huge Jewish ritual from the old covenant. Jesus was focused on the new covenant and the Kingdom of God that he was ushering in. Jesus was already moving on.

When he finished that talk, a Pharisee asked him to dinner. He entered his house and sat right down at the table. The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn’t wash up before the meal. But the Master said to him, “I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn’t the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands. Source: Luke 11:37-41 (The Message)

Jesus knows our hearts. Jesus knows what motivates us. Jesus came to get us right with God, His Father. Jesus does this by speaking the truth to us. One day, Jesus called Peter, Satan. When I follow Jesus, I don’t get a break. I get challenged.

What does it mean to deliver us from evil?

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Evil is real. Evil leads to murder. Jesus is the only solution for evil. Jesus taught us to pray “deliver us from evil.”

Jesus did not ask us to petition the government for better laws. Nothing wrong with that but we need to be on my knees praying for deliverance.

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” ~Jesus

Source: Matthew 15:19 (NASB)

Will our right-living cause us to glow with light?

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Light of the World

Jesus is clear with us. He says You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)

Jesus makes us a light for all to see. Our job is to shine the light of Jesus on everything. Jesus said it so He knows what he is doing. If I was Jesus (and be thankful I am not), I would give me that job. I think some of my wiring is loose.

The ways of right-living people glow with light;
    the longer they live, the brighter they shine.
But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker—
travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.

Source: Proverbs 4:18-19 (The Message)

Why should we pray for our daily bread?

Prayer

Jesus continues the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5 – 7) and the model prayer.

I have needs on a daily basis. We all do. Jesus encourages me to acknowledge that in my conversation with God and ask for the days needs to be met.

The Israelites received manna daily in the wilderness. God is good and in a good mood. He is going to take care of me.

It will be day by day. That is God’s way. Jesus helps us understand that.