AMERICAN DREAM OR ABUNDANT LIFE?

4 Dec

On Thursday, police told Charlotte Center City Partners’ board of directors that increased security around uptown Charlotte is the new normal.

Muslim Americans fear their religion will be demonized and Islamophobia will spread after a young Muslim couple was accused of carrying out one of the bloodiest mass killings in the United States.

Muslim Americans can share the American Dream, but not the Abundant Life.  They are not one and the same.  Our greater issue as leaders is for Christian Americans to

  1. Recognize the confusion,
  2. Be delivered from the American Dream, and
  3. Embrace the Abundant Life, by seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

The majority of Muslim Americans are, much like the majority of Christian Americans, seeking first the American Dream.  They are not an imminent threat to Americans, just as Christian Americans are (sadly) not an imminent threat to the gates of Hades.

Jesus never promised the American Dream.  He came that we might have life, and have it abundantly.

If we truly understood the abundant life provided by Jesus, we would never confuse it with the American Dream.  These words from the lips of Jesus should clarify the differences:

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”

Perfect peace and confidence are to be found in Christ, even in the midst of tribulation and trials and distress and frustration.

Paul adds this:  Indeed all who delight in piety and are determined to live a devoted and godly life in Christ Jesus will meet with persecution [will be made to suffer because of their religious stand].  Paul testified of His abundant life:

 Five times I received from [the hands of] the Jews forty [lashes all] but one; three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been aboard a ship wrecked at sea; a [whole] night and a day I have spent [adrift] on the deep; many times on journeys, [exposed to] perils from rivers, perils from bandits, perils from [my own] nation, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the desert places, perils in the sea, perils from those posing as believers [but destitute of Christian knowledge and piety]

The abundance of the American Dream is already disappearing.  One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls then came and spoke to me, saying, Come with me! I will show you the doom (sentence, judgment) of the great harlot (idolatress) who is seated on many waters,  [she] with whom the rulers of the earth have joined in prostitution (idolatry) and with the wine of whose immorality (idolatry) the inhabitants of the earth have become intoxicated.

I am not suggesting that the USA is Babylon.  I am saying that the USA is in bed with the Babylonian systems.  The American Dream is really a nightmare to those who live devoted and godly lives in Christ Jesus.

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“PRINCIPALITIES” IN OUR PRINCIPALITIES?

5 Dec

Have you ever been conflicted while building your own ministry or network?

Perhaps what you are building is totally legitimate and Spirit led.  Yet, there’s a subtle nagging—perhaps a quiet but persistent wondering: “Am I missing something?”

I don’t know . . . just saying . . .

Perhaps we all could check ourselves and make certain that we are building TOWARD, and not AWAY FROM, other believers in our city/region.  Perhaps we are unknowingly and unintentionally competing with fellow believers and ministries within our particular principality.

We need to recognize that the principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places, are all working together in tandem with one another.  They are under assignment as a team to resist the kingdom of our God and His Christ.

All they need to do to keep hold of where we live and serve is to make sure that we do not build together.  Their scheme is a simple one: Influence Christian leaders to maintain a consumer mentality and keep on competing with one another.  Simple. Not complicated.

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

2 Dec

CHURCH & KINGDOM HERE & NOW 11×8.5 COVER

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12 Oct

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