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Notes from the Journey with the Disciples – 363

December 7, 2016 Leave a comment
  1. “It’s not for you to know…” (Acts 1:7).

These words disappoint the child. Want to know and should know or need to know don’t always align. There are just some things that it’s not for the child to know. As a parent, we come to understand such realities and our care of knowledge mandates this as an occasional posture with those we nurture. But parents are kids too, and when their heavenly Father puts His perfect finger on the limits of our knowledge, we bristle with the same disappointment that we have seen in our own children. Not for you to know means not good for you to know. There’s something in the knowledge that is harmful or limiting or even the potential cause for losing proper focus. If we knew opens up Pandora’s box and likely loses the Commission in the process. Therefore, what follows demands our greater focus.

Categories: Leadership Journeys

Notes from the Journey with the Disciples – 362

December 2, 2016 Leave a comment
  1. “Lord, are you at this time…” (Acts 1:6).

If “why” isn’t the most common question among Christ’s followers, then “when” likely fills that top spot. The gap between God’s timing and our preference for whatever desired action is in focus is one of the most challenging components of faith. When will that faith become sight? We could applaud the disciples’ clear belief that Christ would, indeed, restore the kingdom. After all, they didn’t say “if” or “will you.” Just “when.” Faith waits. It’s the only way for us to demonstrate trust and dependence on God. His timing is perfect, but seldom preferred. That’s why “now” may be the most significant word God can utter toward us. It’s usually the word we’re most desperate to hear.

Categories: Leadership Journeys

Notes from the Journey with the Disciples – 360

November 16, 2016 Leave a comment
  1. “In a few days…” (Acts 1:5).

A few days…

The idea seems to fit a slower moving culture, doesn’t it. We seldom want to wait a few days for anything…and we seldom do. What can be done can always be done faster. The reasons we must wait on something seem fewer and fewer and money can usually solve them. To wait, especially if it feels unnecessary, is unacceptable for those who succeed. While Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, He also promised a wait. And for many, that wait feels unnecessary. Of course, Jesus himself is the Baptizer in this case, so He is the One who determines the duration of the wait and the necessity of a different timing to our request. He does tell us that our good Father wants to give His Spirit to His children, but there’s a wait. And its purpose is often found in hunger. Waiting on God has two possible results–either we grow in our passion to receive from Him as we wait or we abandon our pursuit in favor of shortcuts or other means to achieve our goals. Hunger is the only acceptable path and the only one that leads to the promise of the Spirit. So, a few days it must be.

Categories: Leadership Journeys

Notes from the Journey with the Disciples – 359

November 11, 2016 Leave a comment
  1. “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait…” (Acts 1:4).

His is a worldwide mission, one that is already beating in their somewhat confused hearts. Somehow, this small band of brothers, who’ve known little but the walking paths of their countryside, are destined for distant places. But first, there is a wait. The time to move is not yet. There is an order to their destiny and the stage of departure is not yet. How clear did this seem to them? Perhaps they are fearful of this unknown future so the command to wait sounded like sweet music to their troubled hearts. Perhaps some were determined and ready and these words forced a halt to their aggressive steps. But the directive is clear. There’s something yet–and that something will prove critical to the road ahead. We can charge forward in our confident selves and with our strategic genius, but can we wait?

Categories: Leadership Journeys

Notes from the Journey with the Disciples – 358

November 9, 2016 Leave a comment
  1. He showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive (Acts 1:3).

This He continues to do. The evidence of a living Savior dominates the lives of those who trust in Him. His forgiveness and promise of new life demonstrate the miraculous power of His cleansing. His provision of peace in response to their faith demonstrates His ongoing desire for relationship. His promise and provision of the Spirit empowers those who step beyond their own levels of ability and experience. His guidance whispers strategic turns to those who long to chase His purpose. Though none can place their fingers inside the scars that mark His hands, none who have encountered His love and power deny that their Master lives.

Categories: Leadership Journeys

Notes from the Journey with the Disciples – 357

November 4, 2016 Leave a comment
  1. “Jesus did many other things as well” (John 21:25).

While this verse states clearly that John only used selected stories to provide his Gospel account, one wonders at the other things Jesus did. Surely none of the Gospels can provide an exhaustive list. In fact, this verse goes on to suggest that all the books of the world could not contain all that He did. In truth, that’s a fact when considering all that He continues to do today. Who among us is even aware of all God’s acts on our behalf, even in a single day? When you consider the depth of His love, the expanse of His power, and the frequency with which He combines those two in actions on our behalf, what place remains for anxiety or stress? Ours is an active God, always at work for the good of those who trust in Him. Perhaps our level of trust is then revealed by our ability to rest in His faithfulness.

Categories: Leadership Journeys

Notes from the Journey with the Disciples – 356

November 2, 2016 Leave a comment
  1. “What is that to you?” (John 21:22).

It seems only natural to compare the road we must walk with that of others. After all, in a rationally-focused linear approach to life, like the one we embrace in the West, use of the same ingredients is expected to yield the same results. So if I’m connected to Christ and you’re connected to Christ, why is there a difference in our experience of Him? In other words, as Peter had queried, “What about him?” But in the journey of faith there can be no sameness of experience. Only when we must trust for the unknown can faith truly emerge. If I know the result of every action and every moment, where would I find room to demonstrate faith? So, Jesus looked at his troubled disciple and asked, “What is that to you?…Follow me.” So, yes, I can celebrate your story, but I must always remember that Jesus is writing a unique one with me too.

Categories: Leadership Journeys