What They Don’t Tell You About Motivational Speakers!

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anthonyverderameWe’ve all heard them before, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn,  Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, et. al.; motivational speakers.  My personal all time favorite was Zig.  These speakers are both entertaining and enlightening.  I have always thoroughly enjoyed listening to people like these.

When I begin talking about motivational speaking, I am reminded of a quote by Zig.  He said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”  We hear that and chuckle.  When I first heard that, I remember thinking, “Yeah….right on Zig!” Yes it IS right.  Hence my concern.

This is the difference between motivational speaking and  speaking. It is my heart’s desire to seek out and hear transformational speakers.  It is the reason I describe myself as “transformational.” But what really is the difference? A brief note: I am speaking of a difference NOT necessarily right & wrong; bad or good! 

First, let’s let dictionary.com help us with definitions!

MOTIVATE: to provide with a motive or motives; inciteimpel.  They further provide us with telling synonyms: inducemove, provokepromptcause.
TRANSFORM: 1. to change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose.  2. to change in condition, nature, or character; convert.  3. to change into another substance; transmute. Here are some great synonyms: 

Did you catch the subtle, simple and yet profound difference.  It’s as simple as the difference between “extrinsic” and “intrinsic”; and the difference between “doing” and “being.”

A motivational speaker may inspire and entertain with the result of a prompting from without to DO!  A transformational speaker may inspire and entertain as well resulting in an inner change of the person to BECOME!

A transformational speaker has an ability to share life!  It is a transference of life principles and TRUTH that so inspires, convict and moves a person from within that a paradigm of theirs has shifted.  This might be a huge shift or can be a simple truth like, “I really AM loved!” which may change the person’s view of themselves.

So, Zig IS right! We DO often need to be prompted or provoked to do or achieve. But when a person has experienced a change from within often the direction and action of that life WILL be effected as well.

REAL PREACHING

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GREETINGS!

I just stumbled on to a blog entitled “…the Centrality & Supremacy of Christ” by a precious brother David D. Flowers who is a freelance writer &David D. Flowers blogger.  David’s heart beats with the same passion to let others know of this wonderful Christian life which is nothing more (or less) than “CHRIST IN YOU!”

PLEASE, you MUST check out the whole entry.  Below is merely an small excerpt from an entry on January 5, 2009 entitled The Problem with Modern-Day Preaching :

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“How far Satan will go even in bringing about a kind of devotion to Christ, and promote a mystical, physical “Christianity” with elements of moral elevation, and yet hide within that very thing something which is of himself and, being of himself, savors of that which was in him from that time when he himself was hurled out of heaven, that thing which would take from the Lord Jesus the absoluteness of His place in the Godhead.”T. Austin Sparks, The Centrality and Supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ, p.38

“If you listen closely, much of modern-day preaching is an attempt to fill the void in people’s soul by taking the back door approach to living victoriously. In the end, it undermines the absolute centrality and supremacy of Christ. Instead of preaching the depths and riches of Christ, his principles are taught in its place (not entirely of course, just those principles that fit our accepted cultural and theological ideas). To add to that… mix some new age self-help heresy in there and you completely lose anything that comes close to resembling Christ.

Christ has made a way for us to come to him directly. We should not concern ourselves with the effect (his living), until we begin with the cause (his life). Beginning with Christ will in the end give us those things that we see in his principles. We must concern ourselves with the being, instead of the doing. The doing will come naturally… after we have locked on to his Person and understand that knowing Christ in spirit and in truth is our only concern.”

THE BODY ALIVE ON THE INTERNET!

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I just spent one glorious hour on the internet listening to a show entitled The Living Truth Counseling Hour.  What excited me was not because there was a lot of hype or because it was flashy.  No!  It was nothing but truth!!!  It so excites me to see creative avenues of getting the truth out about this wonderful life we have in Christ.

My mind started spinning wildly at the thought of what is possible with all of this technology we have at our fingertips.  God is calling His body to freedom that can only come through an understanding of the finality of the cross and the reality of the resurrection, and this show accomplished this in an “interview” format.

The show is sponsored by Steve McVey’s ministry called Grace Walk Ministries.  This ministry is doing a yeoman’s job of getting this liberating message out to the body of Christ.  As a matter of fact they have a link on their website entitled Live Radio Shows.  On this page they list the following shows: The Eagles Nest, In You Ministries with Scott Wolfe, The Living Truth Counseling Hour, New Wine New Wineskins, Women of Grace & Freedom!, Man Alive!!!,  Dialog with Bishop Malcolm Smith.  Each show is espousing this wonderful message of God’s grace. Is that awesome or what?

I get so excited every time I find a ministry that is clearly and effectively proclaiming the truth of our identity in Jesus.  My dear friend we must get the word out about ministries such as these.  Why?  Because the “Church”…the Body of Christ is in desperate need of liberation.  Check out these shows and then pass the word.

JESUS OUR EXAMPLE!

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READ PHILIPPIANS 2:5-10

The Body of Christ is so busy playing church & “doing” church that we’ve ceased BEING……the church!  We’ve ceased being HIS living BODY here and now to a world that desperately needs Jesus.

This lost world is just as sick of religion as God is!  Floyd McClung who started a ministry called All Nations & has authored numerous books said this in a letter to my friend Jeff:

“The movement Jesus started was radically different from the religious legalism and control of his day. Religion has a nasty way of messing up relationship. Neither top down hierarchy nor rules that govern people’s behavior do not liberate people from the burden of sin nor does it introduce them to the goodness and loving kindness of God.” – Floyd McClung

So, how do we show a lost, dead world the goodness & loving kindness of our holy God?…….The same way Jesus did!

So, we see that when Jesus walked this earth, in all of His activities, in all of His words, in all of His reactions, in every step that He took and in every decision He made He did so as A MAN…even though he was very much God.

Jesus lived in perfect humanity just as we live in redeemed humanity, and that is in absolute dependency & availability to the Father!  Like Jesus who lived as a man, we too are to simply be available to Him like He was available to His Father.

The problem with most of us is that unlike Jesus, we want the exaltation with the obedience and death!!!

It was His Father who did the work through Him:

Jn 5:36 “…for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish–the very works that I do–testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.”

=> His works were God’s works

John 14:10 “…but the Father abiding in Me does His works.”

John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me…”

John 6:57 “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father…”

Acts 2:22 = “… Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst…”

=> God performed the miracles through Jesus’ perfect humanity.

Luke 10:22 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father,”

John 10:32 “Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father;…”

So, we see that ALL of Jesus activity here on earth as a man was His Father’s activity through the Spirit who gave His body to His Father.

Therefore, as fellow humans, we are to let Jesus do HIS work through us:

Phil 2:13 (Amp) = “[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.”

Eph 1:11 having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,…”

JOHN 14:17 “…but you know Him because He [Spirit] abides with you and will be in you.” => God through the Holy Spirit dwells in US now just as the Father abided in Jesus then!!!

Let us hear it from Jesus Himself in John 6:57 (Amp):

Just as the living Father sent Me and I live by (through, because of) the Father, even so whoever continues to feed on Me [whoever takes Me for his food and is nourished by Me] shall [in his turn] live through and because of Me

He lived His life with perfect humanity!  We live our lives with redeemed humanity.  Therefore:

We are to live our lives as Jesus did: in absolute availability and in loving, obedient dependency!

THE GLOVE!

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In the Amplified Bible, Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

I’ve talked about how the Christian life is Jesus’ life…period!  It’s a life of total and radical dependency on Jesus to live His life through us.  It is this phrase, “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” that I would like to illustrate.

I have a leather glove sitting here on the table.  If I told the glove to pick up my Bible and move it to the other table what would happen?  Nothing!  Exactly!  No matter how much I might teach it about it’s fingers and thumb and teach it how to pick up the Bible, it is still powerless to accomplish this simple act.

This is precisely how the Christian is to live.  The hand IN the glove is indispensable to the function OF that glove.  We are the glove; Jesus is the hand.  The glove takes on the strength of the hand to do what needs to be done.  The glove as I illustrated, is absolutely useless without the hand.

We too as Christians are effective and truly alive because the life of God was put back in us when Jesus came in to take residency. Only hen we surrender to Him and by faith allow Him to live His life can we experience real living!

The glove without the hand beautifully illustrates dead religion.  No matter how “pretty” or “righteous” we may look or how many religious things we may “do”, it is all empty and dead. It doesn’t matter if you’re the preacher, elder, deacon or anyone in “church” if you are living/acting in your own power and or initiative it is for naught.

Jesus is the only one who EVER lived the Christian life and He is still the only one who can live it today…through YOU and me as we by faith allow Him to do so.  Don’t you think it’s time we display to the world what Jesus looks like by abiding in His life in us?

True Righteousness!

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Philippians 3:9 says, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from {the} Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which {comes} from God on the basis of faith,”  There is nothing good about me…or you!  My self-righteousness is “as filthy rags.”  No amount of self-effort (the Law) can make me more righteous!

I want to share a powerful illustration of this truth.  I found it in a little book that I believe is out of print.  It is called, How to Live the Christian Life (1963), by Fred H. Wight.

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A miser lived in a little shack on a corner lot in a neighborhood of the city where millionaires were building their mansions.  Many had offered to buy his property but he always raised his price and continued to live in his small quarters.  But one day an agent of a millionaire cam and asked him his price.  He answered, “One hundred thousand dollars.”  “Sign this paper,” the agent answered. And before the old man could scarcely realize what had happened the deal was closed.  Afterward his conscience began to bother him for asking so much for the property, and so he decided he would endeavor to fix up the shack and make it a little more presentable.  Ten days later the owner came to make all of the final arrangements, and the miser said to him, “Don’t you think you have gotten a fine property, sir?”

“Yes, I do,” the new owner answered.  “There are great possibilities here.”

But the miser called his attention to what he had done to fix up the old shack.  “Have you failed to see how well I have painted the little shack?  I have put new boards on the floor, new glass in the windows, and I have patched the roof.  It’s a dear little place you have bought now.”

“Listen,” interrupted the millionaire.  “I do not want your shack, good as you think it is.  It must all come down.  This lot must be cleared.  What I wanted was the situation, and out of my wealth I am going to erect a new structure; a beautiful mansion.”

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How many of us are like the old miser’ “working hard for Jesus!”  or maybe “cleaning up our act.”  Are you trying to fix up the shack of your OWN self-righteousness instead of allowing (by faith) Jesus to build in your life HIS beautiful mansion of His own wonderful righteousness?  This my friend is the Normal Christian Life!

This IS the Christian Life!

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I have recently had the joy and privilege of listening to sermons from precious saints of “old” and wow has it been rich.  I have been soooo blessed listening to Major Ian Thomas, Watchman Nee and A.W. Tozer, and I’ve been reminded of wonderful truths that have transformed my life.

The consistent message you will hear from each of these saints is this: Jesus IS the Christian life.  What really encouraged me is how they will often say something and emphasize that “this IS the normal Christian life.”  So, for the last week my heart has been so richly blessed and encouraged as I was reminded of this liberating message of grace.

This is truly my life’s message; to let the world know I serve a risen (and therefore) LIVING Savior!  We don’t worship a dead religious leader on the cross. NO!!! He has risen indeed in order to give us HIS life!

We often talk about being saved to go to heaven, etc.  But as Major Ian Thomas has often said, “This is NOT salvation!  Salvation is perfect Divinity being clothed in a redeemed sinner’s humanity.”  Chew on that for a while.  We are not saved in order to get out of hell and in to heaven…no!  We are saved so that Jesus might “get out of” heaven and IN TO US!

As Jesus lived on this earth so do we live here on earth.  In Philippians chapter 2 we are reminded that Jesus chose to set aside His privileges as God to take on the form of a man…He became a man.  Our Divine Father clothed Himself in Jesus’ perfect humanity.  Think about that.  “God was IN CHRIST reconciling the world…”  The gospels often refer to God’s work IN and THROUGH Jesus.

So, do you see it?  This is EXACTLY what Jesus desires to do with us..wow!  Our Father wants to be clothed with our imperfect humanity.  If you read the gospels, you will be reminded that Jesus never did or said anything except what His Father told him to say or do.  He also said that “if you’ve seen Me you’ve seen the Father.”  My dear friend if you’ve been born again, this is EXACTLY how we are to live; in absolute dependence on Jesus “who is our life”.  When we do, the world will see Jesus when they see us!

This is truly the cry of my heart; to just let God be God (I heard He’s up for the job J) in my life and let JESUS live the Christian life through me, because He is the only one who did live it and can live it through me!  Believe me, I’ve “tried” and all I do is make a mess of things when I live by my efforts.  The bible reminds us that apart from Him “I can do NOTHING!”

My dear friend, is that your desire?  Is that the cry of your heart?  If so, then let us stop trying….trying…trying, and let us die to ourselves and OUR effort and simply start trusting Him to do what only HE CAN do; to live out HIS life!

What an exciting life this Christian life is….this truly is THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE!!! Blessings!

Check out my entry tomorrow for a wonderful illustration of “righteous” living…real cool stuff!

 

 

 

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