Monday, June 18, 2012



When you are a follower of Jesus, so much of what you do is a matter of the heart. In other words, you want to spend lots of energy and focus on the invisible matters of the heart. Although these invisible matters of the heart are not overtly seen, they still shine through in such a way so as to communicate a most meaningful quality of life and the distinctive characteristic of wholeness. This is SECRET #64: The follower of Jesus shares the message of the Master by embracing His lifestyle.
This comes from the words of Jesus in the well-known "sermon on the mount": "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16)

When you are a follower of Jesus, you are continually faced with a value system-a set of principles that demonstrate Jesus and His Kingdom. These are His teachings. I like to think of these principles and teachings as what the Kingdom of God is all about. Practicing the principles and teachings of Jesus is practicing the Kingdom of God in your life.

The Kingdom of God is primarily invisible, like the wind, but with some visible results. The Kingdom principles will move you to emphasize the internals over the externals. You will practice such invisible things as forgiving that person who has really hurt you. You will learn to practice such invisible Kingdom principles as dying in order to live, as losing yourself to really find yourself, as celebrating the act of mourning over that which keeps you from God, and as finding pure satisfaction from hungering and thirsting after the right things in Jesus.

The visible dimension of the Kingdom must be seen. Because of the invisible flow of the Kingdom principles, you will learn to practice some visible dimensions of the Kingdom-the dimension of light. Jesus said to His disciples: "You are the light of the world."

So, the Kingdom is demonstrated through your lifestyle-inside out. It's learning to embrace the preeminence of Jesus and the presence of His Kingdom as a lifestyle. You can live the Kingdom, revolutionary lifestyle right now and it will go against the grain of what the herd is doing and where the herd is going. The Kingdom doesn't need to be proved; it needs to be practiced!

If you are a follower of Jesus, you are a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Whatever you do for a living, you are being paid to do a certain work. However, you have a much greater calling to pattern yourself after Jesus and practice the Kingdom of God every day, all while you are being paid.

So, what does the Kingdom look like and what does the message sound like? It looks and sounds like Jesus embraced by His followers. SECRET #64 is: The follower of Jesus shares the message of the Master by embracing His lifestyle. You live your life before a watching world. For some, your life is the only picture they will ever see of Jesus. So, let your light shine through.