The Kingdom is a Culture of…
(These core values are also the lens through which we view life… hence the glasses)
Jesus taught us that the second greatest commandment is this: Love your neighbor as you love yourself. The key is this: You can’t love someone more than you love you. That is, the standard with which you love you is the standard with which you’ll love others.
How does that play out?
We tend not to let others love us more than we love ourselves. When that happens, we start to think, “You wouldn’t love me if you really got to know me, so in order to protect myself from rejection, I’m going to reject you first. I’m going to tell you all the things that are wrong with you, because in reality I’m scared that you’ll discover how unworthy and unloveable that I am.” And we end up sabotaging the relationship.
Also, living in a culture of Love means that you keep love at the center of everything you do.
Love actually looks like something. You can say, “I love you” or “I care about you” all day long, but your actions will be the evidence. For example: love doesn’t look like rude, and love doesn’t look like gossip. There is a visual and tangible aspect of love; and it’s so much more than just an abstract concept.
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Self-control means you control yourself; you help yourself succeed.
“I am not here to control you but to empower you. I come alongside you and cheer you on, giving you to the keys to help yourself.”
(I wrote more about this in my previous post)
You were made for greatness. You were born in the image and likeness of God.
But the truth is: You will never reach your full potential until you take ownership of your own greatness.
Don’t leave the ownership of your life in the hands of others. Complete your assignments, be faithful, be on time, do well… for YOU (do it for your own benefit and growth), not so you won’t get in trouble.
The confession of true leadership: “We will never solve a problem for you; we will only solve it with you. We’ll never help you harder than you do.” The truth is, you can’t help someone who doesn’t think they have a problem. If someone won’t admit they’ve done anything wrong, you can’t change them.
Accountability is an “account for your ability” not “account for your disability.” It’s calling you UP, not talking about what’s down.
(I wrote more about this in my previous post)
Discipleship = Discipline
Discipleship is really a Culture of Coaching and Refereeing, which looks like this: ‘Coaches’ and ‘referees’ who show you how to do it better, correct you, and help fix your mistakes. This is not a playground; you are on a team.
So don’t be surprised when someone corrects you.
Learn to trust someone else more than you trust yourself. That’s the way to get out of deception. The nature of deception is that you don’t know you are deceived, so you need to be able to trust someone else who can point them out to you.
Trust is not always built through relationship; it can also be built by reputation. This usually pertains to our leaders. We don’t always get the chance to build close relationships with our pastors or counselors, but that doesn’t mean we cannot trust them to speak truth into our lives. Their good reputation can, and often, should, be enough.
A good quote to follow up with that is: Imperfect accountability is better than none.
Also, Jesus gave us this rule: If you have a problem with someone (including your leaders), you’re only supposed to tell one person: that person you have a problem with. NOT forty other people.
Jesus wanted followers, not fans.
Faith is spelled r-i-s-k.
The only way you can grow in God is take risks. If you succeed every time, you probably aren’t taking any risks.
Trying is success. It takes mistakes to learn.
The only way to receive an inheritance from someone else is to see and acknowledge that they have something you don’t.
God planted both trees in the Garden. God is the God of choices. In order for us to choose God, He had to give us another choice. Love requires that you choose. Without a choice, that’s not love but control. Part of honor is honoring others’ free will. God honors our will.
Like love, honor is not just a concept; it looks like something. You can give and not love, but you cannot love and not give.
Jesus had no problem with confrontation. He’s not as friendly as you might think he is. He confronted everybody! That included the rich and the poor, the religious and the non-religious.
The key? Be unoffendable.
If you have a problem with someone else, talk to them. It’s a bad idea to talk about others behind their back. “But I’m afraid to hurt their feelings!” Are you really afraid to hurt their feelings or to hurt your feelings?
Faithful are the wounds of a friend – Proverbs 27:6
Don’t be surprised when you need a miracle. Everyone wants to do miracles, but no one wants to need one.
Expect this: God is going to put you in situations where you need His intervention. That’s part of your training!
Anticipate miracles will happen. It’s a lifestyle, not a philosophy.
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. – 1 Peter 2:9
It’s a lie that you are a sinner saved by grace. The truth is, you are now a saint–a holy believer. And that means you want to do the right thing, because that is your new nature.
How does royalty behave? Because the fact is, you are one! You are the son and daughter of the King of kings–and you are one of those kings!
In the Kingdom, there are no checks and balances for not being honest. You are expected to be honest no matter what the cost, because when you lie, you are lying to the Holy Spirit. You are cheating yourself.
All authority is based on relationships; all relationships is based on trust. Reputation comes from your repetition, i.e. what you do continually over and over again. If you want to change your reputation, you need to change your repetition.
Honesty is proactive, not passive. Take responsibility for your mistakes; trust grows that way. Just say, “That was my fault. Sorry.”
12) THE MIND OF CHRIST
When you accepted Christ, you received a brain transplant. “We have the mind of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 2:16b
You can think! You have a mind! So learn to use it, instead of letting others tell you how to think. It’s more important to learn HOW to think than WHAT to think. Holy Spirit is our teacher, and He will guide us into all truth.
It’s okay to disagree. Disagreement does not equal to disrespect. Manipulation is trying to convince someone that you’re right–that’s not good. We can disagree respectfully. Remember, you’re never too old to be corrected or to learn something new.
13) MORAL PURITY
What was God’s first commandment to man? “Be fruitful and multiply” – Genesis 1:28
God gave us sex drive! The goal is not to get rid of it. The goal is to manage our appetite. If we never learn to manage our appetite, then our appetite manages us. This is learning to live by the Spirit, managing our appetites toward Kingdom virtues.
You are not defined by the temptations you resist. You are only defined by the virtues you embrace. Just because I have same-sex temptation doesn’t make me a homosexual. The Bible says that Jesus was tempted in every way yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Temptation does not define you.
The value of your virginity is in the sacrifice is took to keep it. You may be tempted a hundred times a day until the night of your honeymoon, but like the freedom of a country purchased by the sacrifice of many soldiers, the cost in lives and battle scars in no way diminishes the value of freedom but rather accentuates its utter worth and preciousness.
And finally, you can never fall so far that Jesus cannot restore you. That is a promise.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17