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Retweeting Jesus “RT@JesusChrist #3”

It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves! JC 40
Matthew 21:13 (HCSB)

Do you remember the movie “City Slickers?” Jack Palance played the part of “Curly.” Billy Crystal played the part of “Mitch.” Curly was an intimidating man in the movie. Very focused and direct. In the movie there is a scene where Curly and Mitch have to round up a cow that got separated from the herd. While these two men are off on their own, Curly uses the time to challenge Mitch about “The Secret of Life.” Curly, a leathery old cowboy, challenged Mitch to understand that the Secret to Life is to get his ONE THING figured out. Mitch wanted to know what the “One Thing” was because Curly was holding up his pointer finger in the air demonstrating the #1. Mitch sarcastically says, “The One Thing is your finger?” According to Jack Palance playing “Curly.” Jack said…”No, you’ve got to figure out your own one thing…You get your one thing figured out and everything else don’t mean Jack.” Except he didn’t actually say “jack,” if you know what I mean.

Do you think Jesus had his ONE THING figured out?

Jesus’ one thing was complete honor and delight for his one True Father. Over and over in the passages of Scripture we can read how Jesus’ only real “thing” was to honor and delight His Father. Some of those passages read like this.
“I can do nothing outside of my Father, I only do what I see Him doing.” Jesus to the Jews.
“Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” Jesus to the Devil.
“I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” Jesus to His Father.

Do you have that kind of priority structure? Your “One Thing?” Your Essentials? Do the people around you know it.

I suppose its safe to say that after the temple scene where He “tweeted” the passage above…everybody knew what Jesus’ one thing was.

After tweeting this passage, Jesus took a whip and began to whip people out of the temple area. He flipped over tables. Scattered the money, the animals and the people. This scene had to have been a scene of total chaos. There would have been yelling, pushing, frantic running and fearfulness. One passage comes to mind from this scene. Psalm 69:9, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”

Jesus’ one thing, is His passion for the honoring of God’s Household.

God’s household is His Kingdom. God doesn’t live in buildings made by the hand of man. God’s House is His creation, His will.

The temple area in Jesus’ time was massive. I’ve personally stood on this specific area in Jerusalem. This area was supposed to be an area of worship. In Jesus time there was even an area called the “Court of Gentiles.” Its of my opinion that this is where this scene took place.

The Court of Gentiles was an area where the Non-Jewish people (Gentiles) could gather and watch what was going on in this Holy place. To the Jewish people, Gentiles were unclean and a Jewish person was not even allowed to touch such a person. However, they created an area of “evangelism” for the Gentiles to stand and watch in hopes that the Gentiles watching might be converted. But in the pursuit of money, this evangelism area had been converted into a market. When the Gentiles arrived expecting to stand and observe the Holy activities of the Jews, maybe even pray to God, what they found instead was a giant Swap Meet. And when Jesus arrives on the scene and sees that an area of evangelism had been converted into racketeering. He created a racket. The fire inside his bones that consumed Him to be so devoted to the will of the Father….let loose! Jesus officially “lost” it! He got angry…yet didn’t sin. Our world of political correctness has forgotten that you can get angry, call people out, speak the truth, demand justice, demand accountability and yet not sin. Our culture would do well to remember and practice this. Our Church Culture too.

So…if Jesus walked into your “house” what would he use a whip to clear out? What would He see that would cause Him to flip over your tables in anger? Jesus knows your unbelievable potential to be such a strong follower of His…what in your life would He be really upset about because you are choosing to settle for it, instead of be all that you can for Him?

When I say “your house” I mean your life. Your body. Your home. Your work place. Your thoughts. Your habits. Your marriage. Your words. Your heart. You!

Your “house” was created to dedicate and Honor and Delight God the Father…have you turned it into a place of thievery, sin or????

What is of God’s that you have made your own?

This tweet of Jesus is focused and serious. It deals with Eternity and Heaven and Hell are in the balance.

Does Passion for “God’s House consume you?
Is it your ONE THING?
What will you do about it today?


Retweeting Jesus “RT@JesusChrist #2”


RT@JesusChrist” #2
Matthew 13:33 (NIV)

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about 60 pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” 2

In the time of Moses when God commanded the Israelites to leave Egypt under the leadership of Moses, God commanded them to prepare bread for food on the long journey they were about to embark on. God told them not to use yeast in this bread because they wouldn’t have time for the bread to rise as they were going to have to leave Egypt in hurry.

Since that time, the Jewish people use unleavened bread in their times of worship and celebrations as a reminder of that great Exodus out of Egypt. Because God commanded the Israelites not to use Yeast in the bread’s preparation it became custom in the Jewish culture to refer to yeast as an example of evil and sin.

Jesus, in this tweet, turns the tables on the Jewish people. He is using yeast in a good way. Jesus was good at doing this kind of thing. He was good at catching the people’s attention when it came time for Him to teach. Many of the other teachings of Jesus recorded in the Bible demonstrate that Jesus had a knack for using the common to teach in an uncommon way. This uncommon form of teaching, done with his authority and cleverness, was part of the reason He had such large crowds pushing in to listen to Him teach. It also helped that He could raise the dead, heal the sick, blind, deaf, mute, etc. That will help draw in a crowd too! Too many people get upset at the mega churches for their marketing practices and they get blamed for being shallow because of the large crowds that they attract. I hope you and I are not that quick to judge because Jesus used marketing and drew in large crowds as well. Some might argue that Jesus’ miracles were out of His love for people, not marketing tactics. I would agree with them, but I can’t guarantee that it also wasn’t a marketing tactic of Jesus to help Him draw a crowd so He could teach about the Kingdom of Heaven. Don’t forget that Jesus is the one who commanded his followers to be “Sly as a snake and innocent as a dove.” Strategy and marketing are not sins, they are instruments of change.

So, as I am retweeting Jesus’ comments about the Kingdom of Heaven being like Yeast, I hope you are asking, “how is this relevant to you and me throughout today?” I think its good to understand Yeast first. Yeast is a living cell. It’s actually a Fungi. There are estimated to be potentially millions of different kinds of yeasts throughout the world. The experts say that we have only identified about 1% of all yeasts that exist. Yeast contributes to the creation of some of Jesus’ favorite things. Bread and Wine! Don’t forget that the religious wackos of Jesus’ time accused Jesus of being a Glutton and a Drunkard. We know that Jesus didn’t sin because we have the perfect Scriptures that verify this. But in Jesus’ time, the New Testament hadn’t been written and the Religious people of Jesus day who were very legalistic didn’t have the Bible to show them differently. They just saw Jesus hanging out with people who loved to party, drink, eat, etc.

Back to yeast. Yeast multiplies in different ways. One way is that it simply recreates itself. This process is called “budding.” It is like something we might see in an Alien movie today. All of a sudden there are two. If you can’t relate to Aliens, then how about Gremlins! Remember that movie? Don’t give them water or else. Yeast is like a Gremlin. Add a little water, flour and salt with some yeast and let the party begin. A little bit of yeast thrown into the mix and given a little time will cause the dough to expand and multiply way beyond the original mixture of dough.

So Yeast starts as just one. Give it the right stimuli and the next thing you know a bud develops off the single cell. Give it a little more time you have two. Give them a little time and the two will each have a bud develop. The next thing you know you have four. Give the four a little time and the four will develop a bud each. The next thing you know you have 8. 16. 32. 64. 128. 256. 512. 1,024, 2,048, 4,096, 8192, 16,384……!

You get the idea? In just 14 steps it went from 1 to 16,384 and it continues.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like Yeast! God the Father, started with one…John the Baptist. Then God grabs the hearts of Mary and Joseph. Next thing you know you’ve got a little “bud” growing inside of Mary. Now we have Jesus. Jesus decides to get some “buds.” Peter, James and John and then eventually 9 others that totaled 12. Next thing you know Jesus has started a Yeast-like movement. It multiplied so quickly and powerfully that even when Jesus was killed it was only days later when 3000 people were baptized. Talk about the ultimate “buddy system.” It all started with just one.

Today, it starts with you! You are but one. Yet, you are not alone. Jesus promised you that He would never leave you. He tells you that nothing can separate you from His love. This world changer named Jesus, actually lives in you…if you’ve given your life to Him. Just like Twitter. Have you chosen to be a “follower” of Jesus? If you don’t know how…just let me know on this blog page. There’s nothing to be afraid of or embarrassed about. I’d love to answer your questions about it all.

If you are a follower of Jesus, then its time to get your bud.

If you think about it, You are probably a follower of Jesus today because of a “bud.”

Someone invested in you. I haven’t met anyone yet who is a follower of Jesus Christ who did it all by themselves. Somebody made you their bud. What an honor for you to know that somebody made you their bud. They cared about you. If you are like me…then at one point in your life you were a real pain in the butt. Yet he made me his bud. The guy that got me is named Kevin. He made me his bud. Kevin brought me a little Heaven right here on earth. Who made you their bud?

So, here’s the deal. I don’t know if you remember the Lord’s prayer right now or not…but in that prayer Jesus prayed to His Father in Heaven… “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven…”

“”The KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is like YEAST that a woman took and mixed into about 60 pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

You are that yeast. Don’t be one that ends the multiplication with you. Do you have a bud? Who do you already know right now that is not in the Kingdom of Heaven yet? Do you care about them? Do you want them to know Jesus Christ like you do? Do you want them to taste forgiveness, and joy and purpose?

Then get your yeast on and start being their bud. Don’t try to change them…thats God’s job. Just be their bud. Listen to them. Be the friend to them that you would like to have for yourself. You know what to do. You just have to make the decision to do it. Be a bud.

Be the Kingdom of Heaven. People will notice.

Who’s your bud?


Retweeting Jesus “RT@JesusChrist #1”

Quick Intro to this project.

I am presently sorting it out, but it seems that there are 14 truly self-standing complete sentences that Jesus said in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that are no more than 140 spaces…And not connected to any other statements He made. These are true Twitter-Like Phrases. Only 14 in the whole Bible. What does this mean? It means that if Twitter would have existed I’d like to think that Jesus would have tweeted these out for his followers to read. Some are deeply serious and some are a bit obscure. I hope you will read one a day with me as we retweet Jesus. This is not a theological thing…this is a devotion thing. When this is all said and done and you find a 140 space sentence that is completely self standing that I have missed…meaning not a part of another statement or paragraph that Jesus spoke then let me know. I’ll retweet it into this material and give you credit for the “find!” BTW…I’ll be using different Bible translations and I’ll pick the one I feel is easiest to understand. Also, I’d like to think this blog platform for this retweet Jesus project is the precursor to a pretty cool book for people to use to inspire them to focus more on Jesus’ way.


RT@JesusChrist” #1
Matthew 7:12 (NLT)

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” JC 9

Oh, what an easy thing to say, and seemingly impossible to follow through with. I don’t even think that Jesus had an easy time with this tweet. Think about it…there were times when Jesus called people(pharisees) names. i.e. “Sons of Vipers, brood of snakes, white washed tombs.” Another time He used a whip that He hand made and used to whip people out of the temple. He must have been okay with others doing the same to Him or He would not have done these to others. Strange to think about that. He was called names and also whipped. This makes me think about what Jesus said to Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Peter…put your sword away…Those who use the sword will die by the sword.”

Do to others what you would like them to do to you.

I wonder if Jesus were living in this day and age of suicide bombers and self-mutilators if He might have worded this tweet a bit different? Because, after all, a Suicide Bomber that kills 40 innocent men, women and children actually did to others what he did to himself. A terrorist that did this brutal act of horror actually followed what we call the Golden Rule. Make sense?

Now as to whether or not Jesus would say it differently today…I don’t want to open the door of someone thinking that I think Jesus made a mistake here. That’s not my point. I am thinking that maybe Jesus…if He were living in today’s culture wouldn’t use the Golden Rule, as tweeted above, as much as He might have used what I would call “The Platinum” rule. I think the Platinum Rule, if spoken by Jesus, would read “Do to others what I have done and will do for you.”

Out of the mouth of Jesus that is a game changer. The Platinum rule seems to squelch all possible neglect and abuse from the speaker of the rule. For today, we would have to quote the Platinum Rule this way. “Do to others what Jesus did for you.”

The Platinum Rule makes the following comment from Jesus pop! “There is no greater love than this…He who lays down his life for another.” He commands us to give, share, reward, encourage, hold accountable, even die for each other. These would be things that Jesus did for all of us. These are things that fit the Golden Rule also. Do to others as you would have done to yourself.

If Jesus actually tweeted this to you today. “Do to others what you would like others to do to you.” And you knew it was directly from Jesus…how would you live your life today? Think about the free gifts that Jesus gave you. Hope, Joy, Forgiveness, Purpose, etc. Would you give these to others today? And then tomorrow as well? And then….

Spend a few moments and meditate on that. Think about what you should do today in regards to the Golden Rule.
Think about your day and what’s coming. Who do you know that you will encounter today? Make a decision right now to treat them like you would like to be treated. Be prepared. Don’t be caught off guard.

I hope as you live your day that you will dwell on this Golden Tweet. Do to others what you would like done to you. If that passage makes you feel guilty about selfish decisions in your past…ask God for forgiveness and the person you offended and then take care of today. Don’t let the past distract you from what you can do right now. Right now is more important. Today is more important than your past.

Its crazy to think that the Golden Rule sums up the Law and Prophets as the Tweet says. The law and prophets include way too many things to actually remember. 613 Old Laws from the Old Testament and then all the things the prophets said. Jesus gives us the cliffsnotes to the Law and Prophets! I like how Jesus thinks. “Do to others what I would like to have done to me.” Jesus had a way about Him in keeping things simple.

So, be like Jesus and keep it simple. When we start treating others the way we DON’T want to be treated…things get complicated.
So focus on this tweet today. “Do to others what you would like to have done to you.”

It will impact and change how you live each moment. How incredible would it be if you could remember this tweet all day every minute?

Practice makes permanent.
tr


What Lies Beneath?

Do you remember the movie “What Lies Beneath” with Harrison Ford? Scary! Every one of us have something that lies beneath our surface. It is so important to understand what it is in your own life that motivates you. These things lying under our surface are our ultimate motivators. There are so many metaphors I could use. (Getting under the hood, the gas in your tank, what floats your boat) If you can think of others post them in the reply section!

I wrote out a quote several years ago. The quote is inspired by many different people that have impacted my life, for good and bad, and caused me to think deeper than just the obvious surface level.

The quote; “My dreams and goals are only the surface level of my deeper heart’s desire. I may find tragedy in the pursuit of my dreams or goals because that is how God gets us to submit to Him and allows us to expose the real motivations of our hearts desire.”

Think with me here for a minute. If you are a parent and you know what your teenage son’s grandest dream is…would you be doing anything good for your son if you just granted the dream for your child. No effort, no practice, no sweat equity. Just gave them the dream. You and I both know that it wouldn’t be good if we did. I suppose we can see it in the professional sports world. How many 20 something athletes do we see flounder when they were given a multi-million dollar contract?

I have personally seen it in “Church-World.” I have caused it in church world. I have personally given too much “power” to people because I hired them to be on my church staff when previously they had really done very little before. I can personally vouch that every time I did this…it backfired on me and them and the church.

Greatness is better earned.
Influence is better earned.
Wealth is better earned.

I’m getting off track here…To get to the point on this…I think we have to get back to the question of “WHY” is it you want what you want? WHY?

Why do you want to lose weight?
Why do you want to be the boss of your company?
Why won’t you ask for help in accomplishing that goal?
Why won’t you delegate some of your work?
Why won’t you give?
Why do you want to win first place in that competition?
Why do you want to use surgery to change your body?
Why do you want to speak badly about that person?
Why do you want to gain more friends this year?
Why do you want that tattoo?
Why do you want a different spouse?
Why do you want that house/car/motorcycle/etc?
Why?
It is the magic question.
Get to the magic answer…come to grips with it….then I think you will see God begin to help you achieve your desires.

God does want you to live a full life. God does want you to enjoy life. God can give you more than than you ever dreamed of.

God is waiting on you to be truthful with yourself as to WHY you want what you want.
I wonder how many people think that they are waiting on God for things to happen….when in reality….God is waiting on them to deal with what lies beneath.

What is your new goal?
Why?


“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


Copyright Trent Renner 2013