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Retweeting Jesus “RT@JesusChrist #11”

My God, My God, why have you abandoned me? –JC
Matthew 27:46 (NLT)

Are you a person of Integrity?
Is God a God of Integrity?

I don’t know the answer to the first question above, and I must say that I have only a very few things that I am absolutely positively for-sure about. The answer to the second question is one. Not only does God have integrity…He IS integrity.

Buckle in for this study. Its a long one. But its the foundation for all of Christianity. Its not one that we can just “cheap” our way through.

Understanding that God is all about integrity is the foundational understanding that is required to begin to comprehend what Jesus is saying when He tweets, “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me.”

If God is Integrity…AND God has created some rules or laws for life, then God must follow His own rules or He wouldn’t be integrity…if He isn’t integrity then He isn’t God.

One more “foundational point” we must understand. Be patient with me in this teaching part. (Don’t get frustrated as you read this…keep reading and really put your thinking cap on.) Its important to understand the most essential parts of God are not just Integrity, but also His CHARACTER.

Character is WHO you are.
Integrity is HOW you live.

Character and Integrity are so closely linked. Just like the spelling of WHO & HOW. They are the same, yet different.

The Character of God is best described in these words. PERFECT/PURE. This character trait about God is what makes Him the best law giver/law creator/law follower/law officer/law judge. This is what makes Him the final authority. Because of this Perfection/Purity trait of God, God WILL NOT be in the presence of sin. Its really not that He won’t…its just impossible. It would be like saying you are going to take a little light and mix it with a little darkness. It would be like saying you are going to take intense heat and mix it with extreme cold. Its impossible. You just would end up with something totally different. The Bible is clear. God is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

Its important to understand this Integrity and character of God to fully grasp this Tweet of Jesus’.

If God is perfection/integrity/character/purity…this means then, when God creates a law, He must follow it Himself. So in Leviticus we can read about God creating the very first laws. The Core Law that God creates…which means…every other law stems from it, is Leviticus 17:11 “Life is in the Blood.” You can see how important this is even in reading about it in Genesis 9:4. “Life is in the Blood,” is best demonstrated when God says to Cain…after Cain killed Abel…”Cain, your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” I didn’t know that blood has a voice. Think about that. That paints a clear picture about “Life is in the blood.” The 2nd Core law that God creates is found in those same passages. “It is the blood given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.”

I don’t think there can be any disagreement with you and me on this…. God IS Integrity/Character! God is Pure.

So when God uses HIs purity through Character and Integrity to form some basic principles of life…we end up with God laws. God Laws are things that God asks of us so that when we do them we live full lives that are healthy and Character and Integrity and Pure, which allows us to stay in His presence. When we chose to not follow God’s laws then we brought the opposites of Character and Integrity and Purity. God knew this would happen. He knew we would sin. (Sin is a term that simply means to miss the mark. Think archery…aiming at the bulls eye, but missing…Sin.) God is our Bulls Eye. God IS Perfect/Integrity/Purity. And because God is Perfect/Pure He knew if we sinned, He could no longer be in our presence because of His purity. He wants you to be close to HIm all the time. He loves you that much. So in His wisdom He created a way for us to be “Pure” again. God said that if life is taken (“Life is in the Blood”), then we could be made pure again so that God could then be with us again. So in the Old Testament times, God said that if a person sins and thus is separated from God, then we could take an animal, kill it, put its blood on us and then we would be considered pure again. (Its okay to say its a weird system, but it is how God designed it.) So, be careful saying its weird! LOL

Now…to the Tweet of today. Jesus is hanging on the cross. Why? Because God determined that animal sacrifices where not working like He wanted it to work. (We are a stubborn people!) I should only speak for myself…but I’m speaking for you too. 🙂

We all have sinned which separates us from God. Animal blood isn’t doing the job in restoring us back to God. So God has to make a decision. The sin has to be paid for. What does that leave God as an alternative if animal blood isn’t working? The answer, Human blood. (You don’t even have to be a vampire for that statement to get your attention.)

This new reality puts God in a real dilemma. The Bible says that God is a God of Justice & Mercy. Justice requires payment, mercy requires no payment. God loves you so much. God understands that you will be lost to Him forever if He makes you pay your own price for your own sin, which would be Justice. Giving all your blood to pay for your sin…would kill you and God would lose you as you died to pay for your own sins. If God lost you because you “justly” died to pay for your sins, God’s mercy would go unfulfilled. But if God just gives you Mercy, then He can’t have you close to Him because no blood would have been paid for your sin, thus you are still imperfect/impure. God still loses you. So how does He solve this dilemma?

God looks to His right while on His throne in Heaven and sees HIs only Son sitting there with Him. The Father knows that Jesus helped create mankind and everything else. The Father knows that there is a Spiritual side of Jesus that most of us humans don’t fully understand. God sees the answer to the great dilemma. He sees how the price could be paid with blood and at the same time be able to completely fulfill His own Justice nature and His own Mercy nature. He literally could “kill two birds with one stone.”

God decides to command His only Son, Jesus, to leave their “gated community” and become a human, starting as a vulnerable infant, growing into a grown man while remaining perfect and then give all His life blood to pay for the price that Justice demands and yet show His favorite creation, us, mercy at the same time. Jesus pays for the sin(Justice) and we don’t have to pay for our sin.(Mercy) Then Resurrect His only son and everybody wins. Mercy and Justice are fulfilled. (I love it when a plan comes together!)

Jesus says to His Father…”Your Will Be Done.” And God planted His only Son into the womb of a wonderful young woman named Mary. I hope you know the rest of the story. If not, start in the book of Matthew in the Bible and read on!

Fast forward approximately 33 years and we arrive now at this Tweet of Jesus. “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?”

Jesus knows the answer. We do to. God put all our sin on Jesus. Every bad decision I’ve made. Every selfish thing you’ve done. Imperfections. Character-less-ness. Impurities. Integrity-less-ness. ALL ON JESUS. That is a lot of “Nasty” put on the shoulders of Jesus. With all that imperfection now ON Jesus…God, the Father, must retreat His presence from Jesus. Jesus feels it so intensely, He cries out, “Why have you abandoned me?!” I think Jesus was upset. I think He was thinking…’Geez…I came to earth, I lived as a human, I have been beaten, humiliated, spit upon, I did everything you asked me to…Perfectly!…Couldn’t you just stick with me to the very end, Father?” “Why do you abandon me now?”

God so abandoned/retreated from the sin that was on Jesus in this moment, that the Bible records that it goes DARK for three hours. (Not a problem if its evening…but it is NOON!) Can you imagine the News headlines? Total chaos.

In the absence of God is the presence of darkness. (I wonder if in this moment, Satan is laughing?) It seems, at this moment in world history that the devil is winning. But its all a plan that God has knit together. We are so blessed to have the Bible that gives us the end of the story now.

God has Jesus bleed out all of His only Son’s blood to fulfill His own created laws and rules. Now…I have frequently wondered about why God chose this time in all of world history to have Jesus come and die…why did He choose the era He did?. This is the timeframe where the Roman Empire was ruling the world and their death sentences where horrifically cruel…brutal. He could have chose to have Jesus come more in this time frame. Lethal Injection or the Electric chair seem less cruel and unusual as a death sentence. Why did He God choose the era where Crucifixion was the form most used? (A guess?…God knows that we are drawn towards the dastardly, bloody, vicious story. Its why traffic slows down when an accident happens…everybody is trying to get a peak at the bloody scene.) This scene where Jesus is brutalized, will forever be branded in our brains and memory banks. It happened 2000 years ago…here we are still talking about it! So….

How much does God love you? How much does God love you…that He chose to do that to His one and only true son so that He may get you back?

What a huge price. God retreated and abandoned Jesus for a time, so that He may draw you back into a relationship with Him. When God had a choice to kill His only Son or Kill you to pay the price.

He chose you.

Maybe today you could show somebody in your circle of influence that kind of love. When you do…maybe they too will draw close to God.

What a purpose you have as you live today.
Show the love of God to others by being holy and pure.
Show the love of Jesus Christ by sacrificing your own will for God’s.
You’ll never be alone. God says He will never leave you. Jesus says He will be with you always.
Have a great day.


Retweeting Jesus “RT@JesusChrist #6”

But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice. –JC Luke 11:28(NLT)

Did you know that the word “Obey” is not in the Old Testament? You might find the words Obedience, Obedient, and Obey in our English translations, but there is no word ‘Obey’ in the Hebrew Old Testament original language and writing. We just translated it that way. Okay…okay…for you doubters, go ahead and get your study tools out and test what I am saying. The Bible does say “Test everything!” Go ahead and then come back. I highly recommend that you use a Hebrew Interlinear to discover this truth for yourself.

Crazy to think that in the Old Testament times they never would have heard the word “Obey” from anyone, not even from God.

There is a philosophy that exists that says this…if you have to say it, then you probably aren’t really doing a good job of it. Perry Noble, Pastor of New Spring Church in NC said recently on his blog… www.perrynoble.com

“Does Martha Stewart have to declare she is a good cook?
Does Drew Brees have to declare that he is a good quarterback?
Does Taylor Swift have to declare that she can sing?
Does Lebron James have to declare he can dunk a basketball?
Does B.B. King have to declare that he can play the blues?
Does John Grisham have to declare that he can write fiction really well?

Perry makes a good point in those questions above. It is my opinion that If you, your church, or your business are constantly declaring that you ARE something then I think its fair to say that you might be trying to convince your self. The reality is this, you aren’t who you are because of what you are declaring, but rather because of what you are doing. Anyone can declare that they can do something or be something. Jesus says in Matthew 11:19 that, “wisdom is shown to be right by its results.” I would translate that, “Talk is Cheap,” or “Action speaks louder than words.”

Ask yourself, “Am I doing a lot of talking in an area of my life, but in reality I have no proof that I’m actually doing what I’m continually saying?” I would encourage you to ask the people around you if you are saying a lot of something, but not actually doing it. Or, if you have the capability to actually measure the facts as to your success of what you are saying, then do the study and get the facts. I was recently a part of a group that said over and over that they were actually doing something and they even said publicly that they did it better than most. So I took the time to actually measure whether or not they were actually doing what they were saying. When the facts and the proof statistics came back to me. It was clear that my group was just saying this as a marketing tool, but actually weren’t doing very good at it at all. Are there areas in your life that the same thing is happening in your case? Are you saying something…a lot…but you’re really not putting it into practice or showing any results proving it?

“But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

This tweet from Jesus was in response to a person that shouted at him from the crowd. The person who shouted said, “God Bless your mother, the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!” LOL. What a strange shout out. I have had many people shout some funny, cool, and even mean stuff from the crowd when I was preaching. But never anything like this one! Can you imagine? Jesus’ reply was simple. “But even more blessed are all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice!”

Practice Makes Permanent!

So back to my point…Instead of the word “OBEY” God had them use the word “LISTEN.” For the people of the Old Testament to “Hear” WAS to “Obey.” In the Hebrew culture, to hear the word of God or to listen to a person in authority automatically obligated you to do what the person of authority was saying.
TO HEAR was to OBEY. They didn’t have to use the word obey. If they heard it they were obligated to do it…thus their is no need for the word obey, because I think God knows that talk can be cheap. Hear = Do. It puts a new spin on the frequent phrase in the Old Testament, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is one!” Do you understand? There is a lot of meaning now in the phrase, “HEAR O Israel!”

We actually understand this in our Western Culture. If you are a parent and you tell your children to do something but they don’t actually do it. What do you typically say to them when you noticed they didn’t do what you asked of them? I’ll speak for myself here, but I actually say to my kids, “Why are you not LISTENING to me?” Or, “Did you not HEAR me?” I am guessing when I ask this of my kids they think to themselves… “I HEARD you, I just didn’t DO what you asked of me.” It’s rare to actually hear a parent ask of their kids. “Why didn’t you Obey me.” We usually ask, Why did you not listen to me?”

Knowing this…how might it change you? Do you understand now the importance of not just reading the Bible, but doing what we “hear” from it?

Jesus said some things about this…

“Why do you call me Lord, when you don’t do what I say?” Luke 6:46
“Not everyone who SAYS to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father.” Matthew 7:21
James writes, “Do not merely listen to the Word of God and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:19

All Jesus and other spiritual authorities are saying here is “Talk is Cheap.”

I know this, you know this, and so does everybody else.

“But even more blessed are those who hear the Word of God and put it into practice.”

Keep “Listening!”

Is your gut telling you something right now that you have been saying, but need to start doing.

Just Do It.


Retweeting Jesus “RT@JesusChrist #5”

Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God. — JC Luke 9:62(NLT)

Have you ever been on a farm? Driven a tractor and plow? I grew up on a farm in Kansas. This passage has very little to do with farming. Jesus was a carpenter, not a plow farmer. I’m guessing that Jesus might have known that the man who made him give this answer was a plow farmer. Jesus was good at knowing who people were, what they were thinking and He always had answers that really caught His audience off guard. (He did have an advantage…He is the Creator or all things) The Bible says that God knows our thoughts before we even think them! That’s Jesus! Wouldn’t that be an incredible advantage in a Presidential Debate. To know your opponents thoughts before he/she even thinks them? How fun! If you can’t relate to being in a presidential debate….then….can you imagine the advantage you would have if you knew your spouses thoughts before they even thought them? Now that would be even better! LOL.

So what did Jesus mean as He tweeted this statement for all his followers to think about?

I could give the simple answers. Simple answers are still good answers. The simple answers would be about how Jesus had other references recorded in the Scriptures where He says, “Don’t build a house unless you’ve counted the cost as to whether or not you can afford it.” Or, “What King would go to war without first counting the cost to determine his chances of actually winning.” (Not exact quotes, but close enough for this purpose.) Those statements from Jesus could be compared to putting a hand on the plow and looking back or not looking back.

Is this what Jesus was referring to with this guy as he refers to plowing and looking back? I don’t think so.

I think Jesus is making a major statement here about WHO He is. In Jesus’ day, He had to argue/talk/teach/debate with so many people. Most of these people would have had a very strong knowledge of the Old Testament times and people. What I am saying in making this point is this….I think the guy whom Jesus encountered, that made Him tweet the statement that I write this blog about, would have known many of the stories in the Old Testament. There is a story recorded in 1 Kings19:19-21 that is about plowing. My version of the story goes like this…

Elijah was getting old and was needing to prepare to retire. If Elijah needed to retire soon then he needed to find the man who would replace Him. God had already chosen this person…his name is Elisha. Yes…EliJAH was to be replaced by EliSHA. According to the Bible story in 1 Kings Elijah finally comes across Elisha. Elisha is out Plowing in a field. Elijah takes off his coat and places it over the shoulders of Elisha. This is a sign to Elisha that Elijah wants him to be his attendant and future successor. This is an important thing! Elijah would have been well known. I suppose it would be like your favorite celebrity walking up to you and asking you to be his/her successor when they die. Pretty cool right?

Well…Elisha…accepts the offer…but says he wants to go home and say goodbye to his mother and father first. Elijah says, “go-ahead.” Elisha knew that Elijah was important, but other pressing things needed to be done first…Elijah wasn’t SO important that everything else needed to be left behind to follow him. Its saying that Elijah is important, but not THAT important. We don’t get much more of the story or how Elisha said goodbye to his parents. We do know that Elisha did replace Elijah when he left this earth.

What I’m trying to say in this blog is this. When Jesus told the guy, “Anyone who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God,” He was making a very strong point about Himself.

Everybody in Jesus’ day knew who Elijah was! He was the great one. Elijah is so famous because according to the Scriptures, Elijah never died. He was so pleasing to God that God just took Him from the earth. The Bible records the story of how this happened. Its full of what we would call Science Fiction today. Flaming Chariot coming out of the Heavens…Elijah jumping on and being taken to Heaven. It would make a cool movie. I suppose in today’s time all the Alien lovers would call it an “Alien Abduction.” But it was just God taking care of business! (You can read this full story in the book of 2 Kings Chapter 2 in the Bible)

Back to what I’m trying to make a point about. I think this Plow Farmer knew the story of Elijah and how important of a Bible Prophet he was. Elijah was a great-great man of God yet Elisha didn’t follow him immediately but first went home to do a few things. In the story of Elisha being asked to follow Elijah….Elisha commits to follow (Put his hand to the plow)….BUT first he went home to take care of a little other business.(Looked back)

So….I think when Jesus says…”Anyone who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven, He is saying…Elijah was great…but not so great that Elisha dropped everything….sacrificed everything….to follow him. Jesus was saying….Elijah was great….but I AM the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the forgiver of all sins, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the final authority and Judge, I AM THE PLOW! If you say you are going to follow me….then NO LOOKING BACK! Step up and let’s go…NOW…there is nobody greater to follow…there is nothing that even compares to how important I am that you should first take care of before following me.”

Get it?

Maybe this is a better way to explain it. By Elisha committing to follow Elijah, BUT first running home to tell mommy and daddy…He had a “BUT” Moment.

Are you doing this with Jesus?

Are you saying to Jesus, “Yes Jesus, I am giving my life to you….BUT…do I really have to change that much?” OR “Yes Jesus….BUT…do you really want me to forgive that person who hurt me?” OR “Yes Jesus….BUT…do you really want me to tithe?” OR “Yes Jesus…BUT…I don’t need to commit to a church family right?” OR “Yes Jesus I accept the forgiveness of my sins…BUT…I just can’t really stop gossiping.” OR “Yes Jesus, I want to read the Bible everyday…BUT…” “I want to give up Porn….BUT.” “I want to stop being prideful….BUT.” “I want to be a better ______________ for Jesus …BUT.”

Do you see what I’m trying to say?

I’m saying….DON”T BE A “BUT!”

Don’t say you are a follower of Jesus and then have all these “BUT” arguments. Christianity has too many “BUTs” in it already. What Jesus wants is a faithful follower of His ways at all costs! No looking back.

Are you really a follower of Jesus Christ?
What has changed in your life since you chose to “put your hand to the plow?”
Do you have any”Buts?” What are they?

Write the “Buts” down and begin kicking them!

Be aware of the very last part of Jesus’ tweet. Jesus says, “Not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

That’s Heaven. To not be fit for the Kingdom of God means that you do not go to Heaven and you do go to Hell.
We’re talking eternity here! Don’t mess with this stuff. Is your “But” really that important to you?

So I ask you now…. ‘What is it that you “Can’t” do or give up for Jesus Christ?

You and I know what Jesus did for us. He gave His whole life.

If you and I say, “I can’t.” It really means we don’t want to.
You can!
It will be worth it.
If you’ve put “your hand to the plow,”…then plow on!
There is nothing in your life worth “looking back” on…or going back to.
Plow on.

How can I help you?


“What should I do God?”

What’s your dream? Don’t hold me to this, but I think the very last scene in the movie “Pretty Woman,” there is a homeless man crossing the street moderately shouting out as he passes by, “What’s your dream!?”

Have you really answered that question for yourself?

What’s your dream?

Makes me wonder, right now, what’s going on inside your brain as I cause you to think about your dream/goals/vision/plan? Are you the type A person right now just thinking to yourself… “Ya…Ya…I’ve got my dreams…come on Renner…get to the point.” Or are you someone who has been bashed by life’s circumstances just enough that you have become cynical and you don’t believe your dreams are possible for you anymore and you’ve given up on “childish” dreams?

I saw this picture the other day on a friend’s website. Its a street corner in Anthem AZ. "The Ultimate Crossroads."
I’m giving a testimonial for just 10 minutes at a Church Service in Anthem this weekend and when I’m up there I want to find this street corner and take a family picture in front of this sign. This sign on that street corner is truly a crossroads that everyone of us face, sometimes daily, in our lives.

How do you decide which way to go? I’ve just closed down an era of my life of being a Sr. Pastor for more than 14 years straight. I’ve been a preacher, preaching nearly every weekend for 20 years now. But now what? I’m staring the next 20 years of my life in the face and its blurry. I can’t get a good look into what its going to look like. And here’s the deal. I think God likes it that way. Does that make Him cruel? No. Maybe I’m too playful…I like to think its a form of the game called “Blindfold.” You’ve played it, right? Where one person puts on the blindfold and has to trust the directions of the teammate and hope not to be led into a wall or hit their Shin bone on a coffee table or fall off a cliff. If God is our guide and He chooses to “blindfold” us…aren’t we still in great hands that we can trust?

I have found that I am more of a control freak than I thought. And I’m actually deeply laid back. If I’m not liking my future being out of focus, then I’m pretty convinced you, maybe not as laid back as me, really don’t like it when your future is out of focus.

So…here’s what I know God says about all this. First look at this passage in Proverbs 16:9 “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (NLT) The NASB version says, “The mind of man prepares the way, but the Lord determines his steps.”

That verse makes me squirm a bit. It makes me think of another game. Tug-O-War…but…Tug-O-War against God. And He’s bigger than me. I love Tug-O-War, but only when I win!

So when we’re at the crossroads of Vision and Opportunity Way…what shall we do? Is this Tug-O-War time? Or…Blindfold time?

I think the answer is found in one Story of the Bible. Its in the Book of Exodus. The key part of the story is in Exodus 14:15. Its up to this point that the Israelites have been led out of Egypt and have found themselves at a dead end. The name of the place is Baal-Zephon, which is literally translated, “God’s Cul-de-sac.” Sounds like a crossroads. A crossroads for so many can be a dead end because the choice to go left or right is too overwhelming so they freeze up and quit. Dead End. Many will fall to their knees and spend hours on end praying about which way they should go and they get frustrated when God doesn’t seem to answer. So…they pray more and nothing ever moves forward. Just lots of prayer. Prayer is good, but prayer only is tragic. Faith is Action. Forward movement. So in the passage I refer to above…God says, “Why are your praying right now.” (Not exact translation, but same thing…agree?)

I think God is saying…”You know me…I’ve earned your trust…I’ve shown you how to live…get off your knees this time and let’s practice praying without words…pray with your actions…I got your back.”

Isn’t it fair for me to say that at this point in the story of Moses…that Moses had already been told how to live and what to do by God? The answer is yes. (God gave Moses clarity at the Burning Bush.)

At this point, Moses found himself in a scary moment and he froze in his tracks and he did only what he knew to do. Pray and cry out to God. And…God told him to “knock it off and get going..just do what I told you to do when I met with you at the burning bush.” (TRVB…Trent Renner Version Bible LOL)

So Moses got up…shook the dust off his robe and held his staff high and put one foot in the Red Sea and experienced an unprecedented miracle.

So…here’s my challenge to you. What do you continually pray about but there seems to be no answer? Maybe God is saying…just move. Maybe God is saying to you…”Pick Opportunity or pick Vision. They both end up in a good place.”

Is it possible that God is not concerned as much as you think about what House you live in, who you marry, what job you do, what car you drive, etc?

And with some things people pray about…give me a break.
Do you really have to pray about leaving your spouse?
Do you really have to pray about cheating on your taxes?
Do you really have to pray about beating that guy up?

God has told us how to live in the Scriptures. We have a perfect road map(Bible) that God laid out in detail about how to arrive at one of two final destinations. Heaven…Hell.

The crossroads and fork in the roads and Cul-De-Sacs, and Dead-Ends are all part of the incredible journey to our final destinations.

What we should be praying about is our behavior, our heart, our thoughts, our purity, our integrity and character, our influence, etc.

When we get those issues worked out and we have our lives spiritually going the way God would have them going…THEN…when we arrive at the corner of Vision and Opportunity…does it really matter to God which way we turn and move forward as a person who is blindfolded and being led by the greatest leader of all time past, present and future?

So which will it be for you this time?
Vision or Opportunity?
Those are great choices!

Pick and then step forward in Trust.
It really will be okay…even if it doesn’t turn out like you think it would.

Trent


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