Wednesday, September 25 2019
In our last entry, we talked about the Promise of Discipleship and that as Pastor Randy Alcorn said, “God is grooming us for leadership. He’s watching to see how we demonstrate our faithfulness. He does that through his apprenticeship program, one that prepares us for Heaven. Christ is not simply preparing a place for us; he is preparing us for that place." Then we saw that concerning God's original purpose for mankind to rule and manage earth as expressed in Genesis 1:28 that, “This reigning, expanding, culture-enriching purpose of God for mankind on Earth was never revoked or abandoned. It has only been interrupted and twisted by the Fall. But neither Satan nor sin is able to thwart God’s purposes. Christ’s redemptive work will ultimately restore, enhance, and expand God’s original plan. “Daniel 7:25 tells us that the saints will be handed over to the earth’s kingdoms, which will persecute them for a season. But then a stunning reversal will occur. “Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him” (v. 27). The Kingdom will be God’s, yet he will appoint his saints as rulers under him, and they “will worship and obey him.”
So what does it mean that we will rule and how are we being prepared for that now? Our job is and has always been as God's image-bearers, and now as beloved children "to make visible the invisible God" uniquely through our own individual personalities, abilities, and efforts. We will tend and extend our Fathers Kingly benevolent rule in the New Heavens and New Earth and we begin learning about that here on this Earth now. The nature of our rule though is not so much one of rule-makers but of administrators, "ministers", decision-makers of the Kings benevolent order. For example, a yardstick is part of a standard order of measurement, a “rule". It is used to examine distances and for decisions based on those measurements to be made by the users of those yardsticks. The user doesn't create the English units of measurements that the yardstick is based on; they simply use these standards of measurements to bring order to things in their lives concerning measurements. For us, the standard of measurement we are given to use to bring order and rule with is the revealed person, character, and will of God our King and Father. In order to do that we must begin learning, applying, and experiencing the wisdom and discipline of God's Kingdom and becoming familiar with it. As disciples, those who learn and apply, we begin first to rule the "territory" of our minds. As the Apostle Paul said in Romans 12:2," be transformed by the renewing of your mind". We must learn and compare our thoughts to our Fathers revealed character-will, what we value, our goals, what we focus on, that we dwell on, what thoughts we keep, what thoughts we reject, what we decide for and against. We are commanded and given authority to bring His rule to the "territory" of our own minds. Then as we learn with our minds, we are to apply the rule of our Father's Kingdom on earth to our, hearts, will's, and emotions, we are to first seek to bring the "territory" of ourselves into the rule of God's Kingdom. From there we are to seek to establish the rule of God's benevolent Kingdom in our families, then to wherever we have been given authority in our churches, businesses, and the realm of civic engagement. Further, we are then to seek to promote the rule of God's Kingdom in the lives of all men and women around us in this world.
As we see in Genesis 1:28 we were made for a blessed work in God’s creation that has never changed and now as learners, disciples, and apprentices, we are being restored to that work-worship which begin a new in the New Heavens and New Earth. Our task here is to learn His ways so that one day soon we might hear from Him, “Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities” Luke 19:17 or ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matt.25:23
Just what all this means and the extent of this is yet not fully revealed as Paul said, For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face I Cor.13:12. and John," Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is." I Jn:3:2 But coinsider this and let it fill you with awe, Paul says as a given known truth to the Corinthians, " Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? I Cor.6:2
"What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than the angles, And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet" Ps.8:6
Our discipleship is not just for us, it is a royal responsibility as members of the Kings family.
So, ...Are we Disciples?
Next we will begin a new section to follow this one specifically for the guys concerning our being made in God’s image and our work called “In His Image: Men who we are and what we do”.
May God Bless,
Friday, April 26 2019
The Promise of Discipleship is -
- The Promise of Life (Life never ending with our Father)
- The Promise of a “New Life” (Identity, work, mission, abilities)
- The Promise of a “People” (God’s Family)
- The Promise of a “Land” (The New Heavens and New Earth)
So, The Goal of this life…is not just “THIS” life…
In our last entry we talked about the ultimate purpose of our discipleship being our adpotion into the Family of God and that we have come home to a Family, and are now learning the Family character and ways. We will continue to in this entry today to show Gods plan for us and why our "discipleship/education is so important.
This "Family education" has meaning and purpose beyond what we may immediately think. In other words, the discipline and character that the Lord seeks to build in us, as burdensome as it may seem at times, has rewards and far reaching implications that we may have never considered. Grasping that truth and vision requires that we lift our heads out of our preoccupation with our momentary desires, issues, and demands, to look deeply into what God Our Father tells us about our future. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the believers at Corinth speaks of the importance of aligning our present actions with purposeful goals when he says, “Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim.” I Cor. 9:26
The late Stephen Covey, in his listing of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, indicates that as we evaluate our life actions we should:
"Begin with the End in Mind"
He explains that,
“To begin with the end in mind,” means to start with a
clear understanding of your destination.
It means to know where you’re going, so that you better understand where you are now,
so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.
In order for us to do this, we must first understand what God’s original intention for mankind was, what it is now, and what it is for the future. To guide us we will ask a series of questions and use quotes from Pastor/ Author Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven, with the explanitory and entertaining videos that will enhance our grasp of these truths.
Question 1: What was God’s original intention for creating Mankind?
“God’s intention for humans was that we would occupy the whole Earth and reign over it. This dominion would produce God-exalting societies (cultures) in which we would exercise the creativity, imagination, intellect, and skills befitting beings created in God’s image, thereby manifesting his attributes. To be made in God’s image involves a communicative mandate: that through our creative industry as God’s sub-creators, we should together make the invisible God visible, thus glorifying him in the sight of all creation.”
“Culture encompasses commerce, the arts, sciences, athletics – anything and everything that God-empowered, creative human minds can conceive and strong human bodies can implement. In The King of the Earth, theologian Erich Sauer writes of the phrase in Genesis 1:26 “let them have dominion”: “These words plainly declare the vocation of the human race to rule. They also call him to progressive growth in culture. Far from being something in conflict with God, cultural achievements are an essential attribute of the nobility of man as he possessed it in Paradise. Inventions and discoveries, the sciences and the arts, refinement and ennobling, in short, the advance of the human mind are throughout the will of God. They are the taking possession of the earth by the royal human race (Genesis 1:28), the performance of a commission, imposed by the Creator, by God’s ennobled servants, a God-appointed ruler’s service for the blessing of this earthly realm.”
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Please watch the video, Managers Of Creation below:
Application Question: According to this video, how does your discipleship/education fit into God’s intentions for you?
Question 2: But hasn’t that all changed because of sin and the Fall?
“This reigning, expanding, culture-enriching purpose of God for mankind on Earth was never revoked or abandoned. It has only been interrupted and twisted by the Fall. But neither Satan nor sin is able to thwart God’s purposes. Christ’s redemptive work will ultimately restore, enhance, and expand God’s original plan.”Daniel 7:25 tells us that the saints will be handed over to the earth’s kingdoms, which will persecute them for a season. But then a stunning reversal will occur. “Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him” (v. 27). The Kingdom will be God’s, yet he will appoint his saints as rulers under him, and they “will worship and obey him.”
Daniel 7: 13,14 & 27
13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.14 “And to Him was given dominion,Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language. Might serve Him.His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.
27 Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’
Please watch the video, Heaven -The Eternal Empire of the Son of Man at:
Application Question: Then Is your discipleship/ education just for this life?
Question 3: But if that is in the future, what does it have to do with our lives today?
“His plan is for us to develop, as apprentices to Jesus, to the point where we can take our place in the ongoing creativity of the universe.” Dallas Willard
God is grooming us for leadership. He’s watching to see how we demonstrate our faithfulness. He does that through his apprenticeship program, one that prepares us for Heaven. Christ is not simply preparing a place for us; he is preparing us for that place.
Through adversity and opportunity, as well as in their (our) artistic and cultural accomplishments, they (we) will be groomed for their (our) leadership roles in Christ’s eternal Kingdom. Their (our) society-transforming creative skills will be put on prominent display in the new universe, where they (we) will “shine like the sun in the kingdom of their (our) Father” (Matthew 13:43).
Please watch the video, What is the Kingdom of God? at:
Application Question: Are you willing to be groomed and apprenticed, and use your life and disipleship/education in this life for a greater purpose in the next?
Question 4: Well then, if that is the Goal, what will it be like, and how will I use my disipleship/education and experiences in that life?
What is the “greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven” that will be “handed over to the saints”? I believe it includes all that makes the nations great. That would include, among other things, their cultural, artistic, athletic, scientific, and intellectual achievements. All of these will not be lost or destroyed but “handed over to the saints” as they rule God’s eternal Kingdom on the New Earth. We will become the stewards, the managers of the world’s wealth and accomplishments.
There’s not a millimeter of cosmic geography that doesn’t belong to him, and by extension to his children, his heirs. Our Father has a family business that stretches across the whole universe. He entrusts to us management of the family business, and that’s what we’ll do for eternity: manage God’s assets and rule his universe, representing him as his image-bearers, children, and ambassadors." That is the ultimate goal of our discipleship/education in this life , to display our Fathers image, rule, and, glory to all of the New Heavens and New Earth.
“Nothing of ultimate worth from the long history of the nations will be omitted from the heavenly community. Everything which authentically reflects the God of truth, all that is of abiding worth from within the national stories and the cultural inheritance of the world’s peoples, will find its place in the New Jerusalem.” Bruce Milne
Please watch the video: What will Heaven be like? at:
Application Question: In what ways do I need to begin to think or re-think my life and education in the light of this goal so that the steps I take are always in the right direction”?
Question 5: Sounds like that might require some re-thinking about what is really important?
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Please watch the video: Live for the Line at:
Application Question: Am I willing for Jesus sake to always be “rethinking” what is really important in life in light of “The Goal”?
Concerning that, have you ever really wondered what the end of this life “pilgrimage” is all about? Many of the above quotes we used were taken from the book “Heaven”by Randy Alcorn. We all have questions about what Heaven will be like, and after twenty-five years of extensive research, Dr. Randy Alcorn has answers. In the most comprehensive and definitive book on Heaven to date, Randy invites you to picture Heaven the way Scripture describes it—a bright, vibrant, and physical New Earth, free from sin, suffering, and death, and brimming with Christ's presence, wondrous natural beauty, and the richness of human culture as God intended it.
I highly recommend that you obtain a copy of it for your family so you too can have “a clear understanding of your destination” . You can purchase a copy of it at his website Eternal Prespective Ministries http://www.epm.org/ .
Hoping this “helps”,-- until next time -- May God Bless!,