How to live like Jesus is Lord

So much of what we teach is all the don’t’s of Christianity. You know, “Don’t drink, don’t chew, don’t dance with the girls who do.” But Jesus didn’t come for the don’t’s. Christ isn’t just a fast from sin; he is a feast of truth and grace.

The Messiah has come and his coming is like the coming of a bridegroom to a wedding feast. This longing we have for something more is a longing for a wedding feast, for new wine, for a new beginning. It is a longing for what we’re made for. It is a longing for truth … for life.

The story is true, my friends! Jesus is worthy! The cross is glorious! The good news is worth believing! The Kingdom to come is an absolute assurance and the resurrection is proof. Are you living as if all this is true? Are you living as if Jesus really is Lord?

How to live like Jesus is Lord:

Let the dead things die. Toss the old habits that are not working for you any more. Toss the old, dead rituals. Some of us are still waiting for 1953 to roll around again so we can get back to a more comfortable religion. Some of us actually crave dead religion. We want to be okay with sitting in a church building once a week and calling that Christian. But folks, Jesus is doing a new thing! He is moving in power all over the world right now. He is revealing himself to non-believers, and creating miracles in spiritually dry places. It is time to join him. It is time to toss the things you keep wanting to come back that are never coming back, both in your spiritual life and in the rest of your life. Let the things that have no life for you die so you can begin to live like Jesus is Lord.

Learn to feast. Psalm 22 and 23 are some of my favorite places in scripture. These two psalms contain the essence of the Good News of the New Testament. Psalm 22 contains the seven last words of Jesus on the cross. This is the scene of Jesus taking on our sin and dying our death. This is Good Friday.

Then Psalm 23 takes us through Saturday, that dark time between the crucifixion and the resurrection. It walks us through the valley of shadows, the valley of death. But it points us toward a rise on the other side of that valley where there is a table set by God himself: “You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.” This is about how to walk through trouble with a feast mentality. This is a song of death and resurrection.

I remember reading this line one evening years ago. It happened while I was sitting in the chapel of our church. Every Wednesday we offered communion there. I was the pastor who served communion for those services. Steve usually came and I specifically remember one week when he came to take communion. It had been a hard week for him. He is a teacher, and it seemed like that week he was struggling more than usual with classroom discipline. Like that semester he had every demon in Morgan County taking history from him. It was a rough time.

So as he walked up to the altar, I was reading this very line from Psalm 23 about God preparing our table in the presence of our enemies. I looked up from that line to see my husband kneeling at the altar, his hands out to receive the elements, all his enemies weighing heavily on him — the students, the work, the tests to be graded. I thought to myself, “Here it is, being lived out right in front of me!” God had invited Steve to a feast. In the face of so many enemies, he was invited by the Lord of the Universe to come to the table, to get his cup refilled, to receive God’s goodness and mercy, and to remember that even with so many demons hanging on, God was with him. God was on his side. God is on his side, and on yours and mine.

This is the feast being set before us. It is a feast of truth and grace. And this is what it means to get a feast mentality: It is to set your face toward that table while you’re still in the valley and trust that the story is true even when life is hard.

Get a resurrection mindset. Resurrection is the center of the good news about Jesus Christ. And now, with that power firmly established in the Kingdom of God and with Jesus as our bridge God is able to confidently say to all humanity, “It is finished! He has done it! You now have the power I have to break through barriers and begin again.” And that message is not exclusively for Easter. That message is for us. This is our story now. Because the resurrection is true, we now have access to this same infinite power that is stronger than even death itself. When we talk about “begin again” religion, which is what Jesus preached, we’re talking about the kind of life that goes through death. We’re talking about transformation. We now have the power to bring everything out into the light and then put everything that isn’t eternal to death … so we can really live.

This is the good news! Those who are in Jesus never die. This is what it means to be “in Christ.” It is to proclaim with Peter: “I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” And to believe that by claiming that, I am tethering myself to a power greater than sin, greater than death, greater than darkness.

A resurrection mindset can change the world, and can certainly change your world. I’m praying for you as you enter this season beyond Easter Sunday, that you will embrace the resurrection of Jesus Christ as your permission to live wholeheartedly into the life he has designed just for you.

Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Hallelujah!

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The day Jesus showed up dressed as a cop

Heather Glover is our Director of Community Life at Mosaic. Today, I share her story as a Heather-glovertestament to the power of Jesus to make all things new:

Healing. Whether we seek it for ourselves or for someone we love, the truths of healing are the same.

And this is what I know about healing: Sometimes it comes quickly, even in an instant, like the woman who touched the hem of Christ’s garment. We encounter Jesus and our affliction leaves our bodies as if it was never there.

Other times, healing is a process that seems to be as painful as the very thing from which we suffer. In the process of healing we will struggle and wrestle against the disease, the emotional brokenness, the spiritual blindness, and the confusion and anger that our suffering brings.

Sometimes we will wrestle so long that we begin to wonder if healing will ever come.
I am here to tell you, it will come! Never, ever give up believing God for the healing you seek.

Healing is not a matter of if, but when.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. — Psalm 27:14

I know the truth about healing because I have experienced it for myself. I’ve received the healing that comes quickly, and I have been in the process of healing for years.

I am a recovering addict. I spent nearly two decades addicted to drugs. I did not walk away from that kind of lifestyle unbroken or unscathed. It marked me. It marked me with guilt and shame and left me with a long list of consequences to work through.

In fact, my heart was so damaged, my life so destroyed, that there is no way I could be here today serving my church as a ministry leader had Jesus not done some amazing things in my life.

I am a living testimony to the healing power of Jesus.

When the Lord came for me, I was in the middle of the darkest year of my life. My life as an addict left me broken and feeling lost and abandoned. I found myself homeless and living in hotels. I felt as if the whole world had left me for dead and I had all but lost hope of ever making it out alive.

As a last resort, I prayed.

I asked Jesus to intervene and He did. He sent the police to my door and they carried me out on my mat and placed me at the feet of Jesus.

Meaning, they took me to jail and that’s where I met the Lord.

In that moment, it didn’t matter to me what it looked like. I remembered my prayer and I knew in my heart that it was God’s intervention.

It was while I was in prison that the Lord began his healing work in me. During that time, I spent a great portion of my day in prayer and in the Word, getting to know my Lord and building a relationship with him. I experienced a great deal of forgiveness and I learned how to forgive.

I am convinced that all great works of healing begin with forgiveness.

The result of the forgiveness I received brought on a landslide of emotional healing. By the time I was released, I was well on my way to becoming a healthy, committed follower of

Jesus. And five years into journey, I am still being made new.

That isn’t the end of the story, though. Even though the Lord healed me from a great deal of emotional and spiritual damage, I was still left with the physical — the disease, my addiction — and it wasn’t long after I was released from prison that I relapsed. I can’t even explain how it happened. It seems a mystery to me now.

But it happened.

Through that relapse, I realized that my need for healing remained. I was still suffering. I asked the Lord for direction and he urged me to confess it to my people, so I asked Carolyn for a meeting with her and with Roy, who was my small group leader at the time. I came in and confessed it to them, then went to my group and confessed it there as well. And in the spirit and pattern described in James chapter five, my people received my confession, gathered around me, anointed my head with oil, laid hands on me, and prayed for my healing.

“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of the faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” — James 5:13-16

I was undoubtedly healed that day. I felt it happen. I felt a heat move through my body.
I woke up the next the morning bracing myself for the urge to use drugs, prepared to fight it but it never came. I had no desire for it. No craving was in me anymore. God just took it! That was two years ago, and today I am twenty-six months free of drugs and alcohol.

Believe me when I say that no matter which way the healing comes, it always, ALWAYS comes! And when it does, it is always complete. And it brings relief, leaving us with a joy as deep as our pain once was. We need only to receive it and walk in it.

Thanks for letting me share. — Heather Glover, Director of Community Life, Mosaic Church

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