Kingdom Mindset – Merciful

Looking at attitudes that are befitting of those who follow Christ, I hope you notice that there is a strong sense of humility in each one. Humility is a quality that Jesus exhibited most frequently and at great cost. It was a model that he wants us to follow.

Mercy is a byproduct of being in right relationship with others. The Hebrew word for mercy, (Hessed) that is used here talks about a loyal love that is reserved for one’s closest to you. The challenge for believers is that this is the mercy that is expressed to everyone. When you express mercy to everyone then they should respond in kind to you as well.

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

James 2:8

The problem is our version of mercy today is so conditional. We only give mercy if we think the other person is worthy of our mercy. We hold grudges and condemn. It is rare to find someone who give mercy freely.

When we do not give mercy freely, we are holding on to a poison that can be toxic to our soul. The person whom we are withholding mercy or forgiveness from probably doesn’t even realize the stress we are under. We must be careful to guard against that and let go of the wrong and forgive and move on.

“Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free. “ Dave Willis

When we consider and apply this to our thoughts on mercy we can begin to feel a sense of how special giving and receiving genuine mercy can be to both parties.

  • Whom do you need to give mercy?

  • Have you been holding on to a grudge with a friend or family member?

  • How can you begin to show them mercy or faithful love?

You will feel a peace that can come from only God when you give this up and trust in him.


Kingdom Mindset – Spiritually Hungry

The kingdom mindset is one that is one of continual progression. When God gets a hold of our heart and mind our daily attitudes and action should begin to change. What Jesus is teaching us is that his people are to embody the kingdom of God and that requires a mindset reset.

We continue to see the progression here. Poorness of spirit means we acknowledge our need for God. Mourning helps is see that we can never measure up to God's holy standard. Meekness leads to seeking God’s power and not our own. And therefore blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Our definition of blessed is someone who is secure spiritually, with a clear conscience before God, and a seeking a heavenly perspective. Therefore we are seeking to fill our hinger and thirst with godly things. What does this world hunger and thirst for?

Success. Money. Power. Things that are in opposition of God’s kingdom.


  • No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24

  • As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living god. Psalm 42:1-2

  • Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1

Scripture teaches that our loyalty cannot be divided. If it is then nothing wins out. You will be a mediocre Christian and never gain the true abundant life that God has for you.  As men and women of God we do not seek the things of the world. We seek the things of God and the promises is we are filled.

 I learned one thing in Greek. Present Active Participle.  Meaning a verb with a continuing action. In this case the verse reads like this. Blessed are those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness…

The worlds way of seeking success and climbing a latter has an ending. God’s way does not. We continue to seek and we continue to find and continue to be filled. This is the great joy of the faith that God does not hide from us he is waiting to be found and to continue to strengthen and encourage us.

Illlustration: When we take a road trip usually about mile 4, someone says I am hungry. I say ok we will stop when we can. When everyone in the car is physically hungry they develop an attitude that has become affectionately know as "Hangry".

I keep saying ok one more exit until they exhibit these qualities: angry, aggressive, and irritable. Finally when I can stand no more of their attitude I pull over and we get some food. Magically something happens. All the complaining and "tudes" stop and there are smiles once again. What changed they were filled with food.

Same spiritually. We have a special diet spiritual that can only be satisfied by God word and God’s people. When we try to fulfill it any other way we end up feeling lost and frustrated. No matter what we do we cannot make progress and we feel hungry and thirsty. It is only when we fill ourselves with the right things that we will truly be satisfied.

Don’t let yourself be spiritually hangry. Find yourself hungering and thirsting after righteousness because the promise is you will be filled. When you are filled with righteousness you are in right relationship with God. God also wants us to be in right relationships with others. When we truly live out and embody the core values of Jesus this will happen naturally.


Kingdom Mindset – Meekness

As we look at the beatitudes, we see a progression that flows from poor in spirit to mourning then from meekness to seeking God. It all starts with humility. Humility that causes us to turn from our own sinfulness by comparing my sinfulness to God’s holiness then humility that causes me to look upward and seek to please God because how worthy he is.

Humble (Meek) – power under control. Man is certainly powerful and able to do many things on their own. God gave man creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneur skills that enable us to forge ahead and gain success in the world. While all that is good none of our worldly success means anything when we pass into heaven. When we look to God and see how he is worthy of it all, it causes us to put ourselves in a position of submission and humility.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2

Meekness is not weakness. Emotion out of control destroys and has no place in God’s kingdom. Meekness uses its resources appropriately. It also allows you to be the person you need to be to allow God to shape and mold you into the vessel he chooses. Self-sufficiency or pride leaves no room for change or transformation.

Meekness reminds me of this proverb. “Blessed are the flexible for they will not be bent out of shape”.

We also see that it is only the meek that shall inherit the earth. When Jesus comes back and restores his kingdom it is only those who submit to his authority and leadership that will be able to rule in his new kingdom.


Kingdom Mindset – Mourning over sin.

The attitudes that should come out of Christian citizens builds upon one another. We start at the bottom by acknowledging our poorness and absolute spiritual bankruptcy apart for Christ. Then we realize of our own sin. From brokenness and humility to repentance.

Blessed are those who mourn. – Because we are aware of our sinfulness and the price, we cannot pay we begin to realize the extent of our sin. When you are made aware of your sin it can be an overwhelming feeling. We are promised that we will be comforted. If we are willing to go through the pain, shame, and guilt of self-discovery then you will be comforted.

Isaiah has a similar experience.

So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5

Isaiah gives us the perfect glimpse of what a vision of God should do to us. It should cause us to look upward and inward and acknowledge out sinfulness. Not only to acknowledge but to go a step further and mourn over it.

Ill: Nana – Was my favorite person on earth. When she passed away I was devastated even though I knew it was coming. I had spent time at the nursing home with the family and then I left early and she passed after I left. I still remember the soul crushing blow I felt when I heard the news. We gathered as a family before and after the funeral to tell stories and reminisce. When a close family member or friend dies we mourn for them. We spend time thinking about what life was like with them, the good times we had. We remember how they made us feel and we realize there will now be a whole in our lives where they once were.

We are to mourn over our sin. To think of the times we have let God and others down then to move on from that. Not only our sin but the sin of the world around us. We can very easily see and feel the evil that is in our world. We should mourn over that. Mourn that our family, friends, and loved ones are not living the way God wants them too. So its not just our sin that we mourn but it is also the sins of others.

Mourning is not all bad sometimes it causes us to think about how it could be. As we mourn over our sin it should spur us on to do better. To picture what a positive outcome of our faith could look like. Mourning leads to HOPE. 

What should this cause us to do?

  1. Seek personal holiness and repentance.
  2. Seek to live by example in such a way to change the world.

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 1 peter 3:15

Let’s not forget the reward or promise. You will be comforted. We have a God full of grace that will not continue to hold our sin against us instead he comforts us.


  1. The holy spirit.
  2. The truth of his word.
  3. The people of God.

As we look at the beatitudes, we see a progression that flows from poor in spirit to mourning then from meekness to seeking God. It all starts with humility. Humility that causes us to turn from our own sinfulness by comparing my sinfulness to God’s holiness then humility that causes me to look upward and seek to please God because how worthy he is.


The Kingdom Mindset

The passage we are studying tonight gives us a fresh glimpse into the kingdom mindset. Jews had been brought up in such as way that religious performance was held above all other things. As long as you were righteous looking on the outside by your words, actions, and dress then you were considered religious elite.

It reminds me of Isaiah.

“What are all your sacrifices to me?” asks the Lord.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings and rams and the fat of well-fed cattle;
I have no desire for the blood of bulls, lambs, or male goats. Isaiah 1:11

Jesus comes and gives a renewed vision of what kingdom life is supposed to be like. Not an earthy kingdom but a heavenly one here on earth filled with kingdom minded citizens. He lays out for us the attitudes, actions, and norms of the kingdom in his famous sermon on the mount.

Blessed - We have to start with the first word BLESSED. What does blessed mean? If we are to look at it by today’s standards one would say blessed means happy, lucky, fortunate. One might say that those who are blessed have money and success or no problems. They are the ones you look at on social media and wonder  “why can’t my life look like theirs’s?

They end every post with too blessed to be stressed.

But if we try to apply that here it doesn’t work. Instead, what we need to see is that blessed in the Biblical sense it much different. It moves past the physical and to the spiritual side of things.

Our definition will be Blessed = Secure spiritually, clear conscience before God, and a heavenly perspective.

Poor in spirit – The important thig here is “the spirit”. It doesn’t say blessed are the poor. The poor are not blessed. The homeless are not blessed. You are not blessed if you cannot pay your bills. This is not talking about physical poorness. Instead it is actually a reference to the gospel. The good news that Jesus came to say is that no man can live up to his holy righteous standard instead we have to believe in him.

A person who is poor in spirit is

  1. Acknowledging sinfulness.
  2. Looking to Jesus to fulfill their debt.
  3. Seeking to live as kingdom citizens.

On the contrary a person who is rich in spirit.

  1. Prideful and self-reliant.
  2. Has no need for a savior.
  3. Seeks to live by worldly means and ideals.

The reward is the kingdom of heaven. Not a future kingdom but a now kingdom. Jesus is seeking to bring heaven down to earth with his new followers. As believers live their lives in a such a way to be obedient to God they are truly bringing heaven to earth. A heavenly kingdom filled with godly ideals.

Ill: Recently, my wife, Jenna and I were able to have a weekend getaway to Destin.  We decided we would at least eat. We looked at Ruth’s Chris. We looked at Flemings. Man they looked so good. Imagine we went in and order the most expensive thing on the menu.  We realize when they bring the check that they only take cash, who has cash anymore? We don’t have the $500 cash it would have cost us. They won’t let us leave to go to the ATM in stead they hold us there until we can pay the debt back. But we can’t pay the debt back because we can’t leave. Our sin is like that. It has built up a debt so big that we cannot pay. The only way to get out of it is too acknowledge our sinfulness and turn to God. A very simple explanation of the gospel. That what the first attitude is. Humility.

The attitudes that should come out of Christian citizens builds upon one another. We start at the bottom by acknowledging our poorness and absolute spiritual bankruptcy apart for Christ. Then we realize of our own sin. From brokenness and humility to repentance.


Evangelism is a Strong Witness

Week 5.2

Not only is evangelism attraction as non-believers are curious about what God is doing, Evangelism is also a strong witness to those around us.

When we take our faith with us the other 6 days of the week and live our lives in the way God wants us to live others cannot help but see the difference in our lives and that is a strong witness. Unfortunately, there are many who claim to be Christians that do not follow through on their commitment to live out their faith every day. When non-believers see this type of behavior it can hurt our witness.

How do we make sure that we are being a strong witness?

  1. Live a Christ-centered life.

The way you live your life will affect what you do and how you act. When you decide to prioritize Christ in your life others will see that you are different in. good way. With so many bad examples to see someone who is living for Christ will be refreshing to those around you and you will be a strong witness for Christ.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2

  1. Share your testimony.

When you have a relationship with God, he speaks to you. He expects us to share our lives with others especially what he has done in our lives. We need to make sure to talk about Christ to others. This includes telling out salvation testimony but also our current experience with God and what he is teaching us.

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 1 Peter 3:15

  1. Serve and Give Generously

You will notice that in Acts 4:32-35, one of the things that sets the believers apart is their unity and generosity. They shared everything and no one had need. We cannot hold onto our possessions and time so tightly that they begin to rule our hearts. We are to be wise stewards but not withhold our gifts for use in God’s service.

Nothing tells others that we are thankful to God than taking what he has given to us and sharing it with others. When we do this in a ways that demonstrates the love of God it cannot help but be a strong witness and is evangelism lived out.


Evangelism in Attractional

Week 5.1

As we continue to look at the early church in Acts. We see a few things that sets them apart from the world. These qualities are what makes the church THRIVE. When we as a body of believers focus on these things, we cannot help but be a successful Kingdom minded congregation making a difference in the community and around the world!

We have looked at discipleship, fellowship, prayer, worship, and today we will see that the results of those leads to evangelism. When there is a recipe or a formula, you are able to predict the outcome. That is what we see in these verses that if the church has the right focus, there cannot help but attractional to unbelievers and a strong witness to those in the community.

32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. Acts 4:32-35

 What is attractional about the church?

In today’s times we do see many churches that are known for what they are against, but if we are truly seeking after God and the things he wants, we will be known for what we are FOR. We are for unity, we are for community, we are for God and the things of God.

When we are for the things of God, we will be attractional to unbelievers because they will want what we have. We have TRUE abundant life. Life that is not found in the things of the world but only found in Jesus.

True abundant life provides what we are all searching for, meaning and purpose. We want to know that we are not just living for the next paycheck but that there is something more meaningful. There is! Our purpose is to worship God. When we try to fulfill that purpose any other way, we end up feeling helpless and hopeless. As believers we can show others this abundant life by living out our worship of the one true God in our daily lives. That will be true worship and attract to those who do not have it.


Worship – Week 4.2


As we continue a quick look through Isaiah 6 let’s be reminded of the nature of this encounter. God is omnipresent so he is always there. We just can become so unaware of his presence that we don’t even acknowledge him in our daily lives. This was the case in Isaiah’s time too. Isaiah was going through his daily routine and then God showed up or rather made Isaiah aware of His presence.

Isaiah quickly changes his approach from haphazard to putting his focus where it needed to be, on God. He also was quick to realize the condition of his heart and look within. Today we will see a few more results of worship.

Worship is cleansing.

When Isaiah was confronted with his sin. He knew there was nothing he could do to take it away only God can do that. No amount of sacrifice on the altar or merit would earn his purification. Instead God caused an angel to bring a hot coal and cleanse Isaiah. God did the cleansing.

Just like Isaiah there is nothing we can do in our own strength to earn God’s forgiveness or live up to God’s holy righteous standard. Instead, we learn that it is only by grace through faith in Jesus’ death on the cross that we can be forgiven and cleansed. (Ephesians 2:8-10, John 3:16)

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Worship is sending.

Isaiah knew that his people were in the same boat he was in. They were living their lives on their own terms and with no consideration of God in their lives. His life’s mission would be to warn of God’s judgement and announce the promise of the savior. God used this encounter to propel Isaiah’s ministry forward. He would go and he would be God’s prophet.

Worship should do the same for us. As we focus on what God has done it should cause us to want to tell others about what he has done for us. It should make our hearts hurt when we see others trying to love their life outside of God’s plan. Make it a point to tell others what God has done for you.

Worship – Week 4

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is from Isaiah 6. It shows the power of worship. When we come to church, we are reminded of the importance of worship. We sing songs, pray, and listen to the word preached. These are each expression of worship.

However, if we are honest, it is easy for us to get into our busy schedules and forget to put our focus where it needs to be every day. We let life get in the way and we feel overwhelmed. The same life that would be better and less stressed if we placed our focus and worship where it should be on God every day. We need to worship through the week.

Even though Isaiah was a prophet he is just like us. He is human with the tendency to get bogged down in life’s daily grind. In fact that’s the context of Isaiah 6. He was going through his everyday routine. Perhaps even jus going through the motions just get the job done. Then God showed up! When God shows us everything changes.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”

And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

So I said:

“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

“Behold, this has touched your lips;
Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin purged.”

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

  • Worship causes us to look up.

When Isaiah entered the temple to perform his daily duties something was different. It is not that God, and his presence was not there all the time but for whatever reason this day was special. God got his attention and caused him to look up.

When we take the time to worship, we pause and reflect on the greatness of God. When we do that, we cannot help but look up to the heavens and reflect on his holiness and glory Whether that be the stars we see in the sky or just his presence in the darkness. Worship causes us to reflect and consider all that God is.

  • Worship causes you to look with in.

When God’s glory was put on display, and it caused Isaiah to look inside himself. He looked inside himself and consider not only his sin but the sin of his people. He realized that he had fallen so short of God standard of holiness. So he said “woe is me!” This is a form of confession and repentance.

God has a way of revealing to us what we already known in our heart of hearts. In the busyness of our lives and integration with culture we have been desensitized to the conviction that we ignore his Holy Spirit and continue to sin. When we truly do look inside and consider our sinfulness in light of God’s holiness that should lead to true worship in the form of confession and repentance.

Tomorrow we will look at two more things from the passage…

  • Worship is cleansing.
  • Worship is sending.
Devotion Images-3

Prayer. Humble submission to God.

Week 3.2

I remember growing up in church and when people would pray, I would think “wow they must be close to God”. They would use big words, they would change the inflection of their voice, and it just seemed like they were close to God.

I'm sure these men meant nothing by their prayer performance, but it made me scared to pray in front of other people. I thought that I had to know the exact right words to say and was always afraid to mess up in front of others.

Now being much older in my faith I understand that prayer is special, we do not have to know exactly what to say. We do not have to know big theological words for God to hear us. What God wants more than anything in our prayers is humble submission to him.

So as we continue to think about prayer today I want to encourage you to just pray period. Very simply prayer is just talking to God. That's the blessing that we get when we can talk to God about anything. We all have enough gone on in our lives that we need to be able to stop what we're doing and pray. And knowing that we are able to pray through the creator of the universe should give us confidence to be able to make it through whatever the day may bring.

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14

prayer 1-2

1 2 3