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Gibby Espinoza
stumbling through God's kingdom
stumbling through God's kingdom

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"For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." Jesus Christ (Matt 5.20)

What did Jesus mean by this statement?

"I have come to believe we are never going to be the movement Jesus wants unless we first get the issues of discipleship right. This is because the health and growth of transformative Jesus movements are directly related to their capacity to make disciples. No disciples, no movement – it’s that simple." - Alan Hirsch (Untamed)

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"A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His Presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality." - A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

I just completed the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment with surprising results. My top 5 are:

1 Connectedness
2 Developer
3 Learner
4 Intellection
5 Arranger

Five years ago I had these results:

1 Belief
2 Ideation
3 Developer
4 Adaptability
5 Connectedness

It's telling of the influence my current place in life has on me. Each aspect of my life (home, work, recreation, spirituality, etc.) determined how I answered. My views have shifted and changed. Indications of the evolution of my spirit and soul. Hopefully becoming more like Jesus Christ for the people in my midst.

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"Leadership in the kingdom of God is not gaining power and authority for ourselves. It’s about serving. Find a place to serve. Find a way to serve. There is nothing that grows a leader in the kingdom faster than serving."

Tozer Devotional: Decisions or Disciples?

Today we need people who dare to question the status quo and say, "Wait a minute here. Where do you find this in the Bible?" The idea that all you have to do is to accept Christ and you are in is a great mistake. It leaves people with the impression that if they accept Christ they have no fight to fight, no warfare, no job to do and no temptations. They are just in. When you accept Christ rightly as your Lord and Savior you are in, but to be honest, you have just started to fight. People get converted and we do not tell them that they must fight all the way through to heaven because of the spirit of degeneration and the tendency to deteriorate. They must fight, pray through, suffer it out and live in praise and worship, because if they do not they will deteriorate. Read the history of the Christian church if you can keep your faith and keep from weeping.

"God isn't looking for servants, slaves, or contestants to jump correctly through some arbitrary hoops. God simply wants mirroring images of God to live on this earth and to make the divine visible. That is, of course, the way love works. It always overflows, reproduces, and multiplies itself." - Richard Rohr

"Religion" Deterioration - A.W. Tozer

This is hard for people to face up to. Religion deteriorates just as fruit rots and just as people get old in spite of all they try to do at the drug stores. It is inevitable that we get old, and so it is with religion. It is built-in that we start to deteriorate shortly after God comes and blesses us. Look what happened to Israel. God called Israel out of Egypt, and it began to deteriorate before it reached the Red Sea. Then He gave it a revival by taking it through the Red Sea and into the wilderness. But Israel started to degenerate before it had gone 20 miles in the wilderness. As a result the people eventually wandered for 40 years. You can follow the history of Israel and see the story of the kings. It is a depressing story. Here is a man. He lived and did evil in the sight of the Lord. He had a son, and his son did evil in the sight of the Lord as his father before him. The status quo was maintained.

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"If we do something simply out of a sense of duty, we are trying to live up to a standard that competes with Jesus Christ." - Os. Chambers
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