Tuesday, March 20, 2012



I know the term "secrets" may sound a bit strong or too promising of something not already known, but that's not my intent. I am using the term quoting Jesus, when He said to His early disciples: "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables so that, 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'"
Another concept goes along with this term "secret" and that is "mystery." Paul used the term almost exclusively. When he wrote to Timothy he said: Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great. What was this mystery of godliness? He described the person of Jesus who appeared in space-time history by saying, He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. (I Timothy 3:16)

Paul and Timothy's letter to the fellowship in Colossae Paul references his mission: that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Who is this mystery? It's Jesus the Christ. Listen to this: We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in the Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. (Colossians 1:25-29)

Jesus is the mystery and He is the one who revealed the secrets of the Kingdom to His early disciples. If you listen in on His teachings and watch what He did with an open heart, leaning in toward God, you, too, can have the secrets of the Kingdom revealed to you. I think it's best to view these secrets as more and more revelation of Jesus and His teachings. Therefore, if you seek after Jesus to follow Him the best you can, you are learning more and more about the secrets of the Kingdom. And, as you learn more about the secrets of the Kingdom, you will find the Kingdom principles boil down to being a follower of Jesus.

Several months ago I was asked if I could condense the teachings and principles of Jesus down to about a list of 20 or so. I took the challenge, but was unable to keep it down to 20 as I had hoped. So, I examined a few of the key passages of Jesus' teachings and have settled on 75. To say I've settled on 75 doesn't mean these are in concrete, but to date these are the ones I've listed out. It's really a work in progress!

So over the next few weeks (nearly 4 months) I am going to walk through each of these 75 secrets of following Jesus. And who knows? Maybe by the time we get to 75, we might find a few more in the process. Hopefully, you will find this excursion through these principles extremely practical and helpful in your daily walk.

In fact, this would be a good time to introduce others to the ACTS 29 DAILY experience. Each of these secrets will be short and to the point, easy to listen to or read. So, invite your friends and family to come along and subscribe for themselves on the website at www.embersfellowship.com.

Remember as we move through these secrets that it is all about following Jesus and hearing His voice. Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice." Possibly the greatest problem you will ever face in your journey of following Jesus is taking the time to hear the voice of your Master, Jesus. Each day get in the habit of asking Jesus to speak to you personally about the secret of the day. Ask Jesus to give you the strength and courage to embrace each secret for yourself.

Before the Verizon Wireless phone commercial, I'm convinced one of Jesus' most famous questions to His followers is: CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Seek to answer this question every day. Ask Jesus to give you ears to hear and eyes to see. In my experience, anyone who comes to Jesus and sincerely seeks Him, will find Him. Anyone who genuinely seeks an encounter with Jesus will never be the same.