Home About Blog Podcast LEMON Leadership rēp Resources Login

Objections to Place – Part 3

give careful thought to your ways
Haggai 1:5

In the previous devotionals, we addressed objections #1—the timing is not right—and #2 – place is not that important any longer. The third objection is this: “Putting money into buildings is not good stewardship, so I am putting my money into more direct spending on immediate needs.” This is not a bad argument, but it fails to recognize the difference between capital and working capital. We know that the nature and use of each of these is different. Scripture calls it “seed for sowing” (that is capital) and “seed for bread” (that is, working capital). A best practice for kingdom people is to (a) build capital, and (b) give capital towards capital projects. Yet many believers amass capital, often in foundations or investments, then mainly give it to “daily bread” needs, rather than to planting a wheat field or building a bakery. Why is this? First, there is more immediate...

Continue Reading...

Objections to Place – Part 2

so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord   Haggai 1:8

In the previous devotional we addressed objection #1: The timing is not right. Moving forward to today’s world, we have a second objection: “Place is not that important to God in these New Testament times. Brett, the temple was an Old Testament thing…now God lives in people, so why do you need a place for rēp?” (Or, ‘Why does this ministry need a building?’… whatever your situation may be.)

There is some truth to the shift in emphasis on place. Going back to the beginning, however, every square inch was God’s, and all of it was man’s responsibility to manage. Then Adam yielded that right to Satan. God elected to live mainly in one place, the temple. Later the second Adam, Jesus, redeemed everything through his sacrifice, reconciled the cosmos to himself, and restored our management responsibility back to us. Place became hugely important to God...

Continue Reading...

Objections to Place – Part 1

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built.’” Haggai 1:2

We were flying back from Texas and I felt I should read Haggai so I turned there, not knowing that the topic was going to be property. The specific matter at hand in Israel was timing about a property improvement. God’s place needed some serious repair, and some were not in favor of it. God used this passage to highlight for me how those engaged in believing God for property for ministries, and sometimes even for homes, face common objections. There is “push back” from others that has two components: as God puts it to Haggai, “These people say…” We need the ability to discern the assumptions that underlie the “These people say…” statements so that we can speak truth and liberty into our own lives, and into the minds and hearts of others. We face an interesting dilemma...

Continue Reading...

Rock On!

who turned the rock into a pool
Psalm  14:8

Do you have any circumstances in your life that seem to be impossible? Are there people that make your life hard? Do you live in a nation where the government is opposed to your way of life? Take courage from this tremendous truth: the presence of God turns the impossible into provision. 

What would be a less likely source of water than a rock? My humanist friends will be saying, ‘You see, the water was there all the time, and the rock simply obscured it, so Moses probably carried a crowbar, and shifted it to get the water.’ 

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, 

 who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.

The nature of things changes in the presence of God. Rocks can become not just liquefied, but a pool, a spring for the refreshing of a nation.

God still changes rocks into water. If you are like me, you will admit that there are...

Continue Reading...

When Your Honor Is On The Line

My salvation and my honor depend on God;

he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Psalm 62:7

It was December and I was preparing for our annual planning meetings. This is easier to do when the year has been good and there is money in the bank. 

This particular year I was half expecting criticism from my colleagues because things were not as good financially as they could have been. I sensed that people were fatigued and were looking for a change. Before the meetings began I sought God and I comforted myself in the Lord, and this phrase is what turned it for me: “my honor depends on God.” Not on the Profit & Loss, not on the bank balance, not on external success, and not on the esteem of my colleagues, but on the Lord.

As it happens, it was not the most jovial of planning retreats. There was somewhat of an air of criticism. I led us through Psalm 62 and we pondered its meaning. Only afterward did I realize that people were critical, but of themselves, not of me. They had...

Continue Reading...

Lean On Me

…this leaning wall, this tottering fence. Psalm 62:3

Let’s face it, we all have days when we feel like we are about to fall over. There are times when we think we are bound to become just another fallen layer in the archeology of life. King David knew that if he didn’t collapse because of his own frailty, then there were plenty of people who were happy to help him crumble. “How long will you assault a man? Would you throw him down—this leaning wall, this tottering fence? They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place…”  How did David deal with this opposition? Rather than try to pump himself up, he made sure his frail fence was located in the right place.

5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; 

       my hope comes from him. 

 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; 

       he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 

The question is not...

Continue Reading...

Not All Activity Is Equal

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better…”    Luke 10:41, 42

One of my memories of a rēp Venture in South Africa is of Errol Smith “hanging” at the location where we gathered. After months of work leading up to the Venture, he expressed his joy in just being there, seeing what God was doing, and soaking up God’s presence. On a regular day, my guess is that Errol is as good a Martha as you can get. The good news is that he can flip the switch and be a Mary too. There are multiple types of work, and there is nothing wrong with being busy. Busyness is not the same as hurriedness, says Dallas Willard. We can be busy on the outside yet unhurried on the inside. Likewise, we can be calm on the outside, but internally we have checked out of conversations because we are distracted and at the next venue already. The question is not...

Continue Reading...

Maintenance Is For Weenies

If a man is lazy, the rafters sag.
Ecclesiastes 10:18

We sat at lunch one day with a team from our office. It was a farewell meal for an intern who had joined us for three or four months. He was a very likable chap, had a bright mind, and was a genuinely nice guy. For our part, we had put him in tasteful accommodations, given him a car to drive, had him participate in some interesting projects, and given him exposure to life in Silicon Valley when all was well in Dot.com land. So at the end of it, all my wife asked, “What did you learn from your time with us?” His answer caused more than one person to nearly choke on their Chinese food: “I don’t like maintenance.” That was it. The grand conclusion from the twenty-year-old on what he had learned from his work stint: maintenance sucks. 

The first to respond was our Information Technology manager (who, incidentally, spent most of his day maintaining other people’s computers). He gently explained...

Continue Reading...

Love Is The Goal

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
I Timothy 1:5

In the introduction to this letter, Paul tells Timothy his work assignment: “command certain men not to teach false doctrines.”  Later he says (in verse 8), "We know that the law is good, if one uses it properly."  There is a sharp contrast between a genuine movement of God, which has at its core "love, which comes from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and a sincere faith," and the complex formulation of institutions built around laws and structures and complexities made up by man.  

As we deal in business, we will write contracts, deals will be signed, and plans will be made.  In all of these things let us remember to have "love, which comes from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and a sincere faith." 


  • Is your heart pure?
  • Is your conscience clear?
  • Is your faith sincere?
Continue Reading...

Stand and Ignore

Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.   Ephesians 6:13 (NLT)

We like to think of amazing accomplishments, great acts, momentum, and being on the offensive. But there are seasons where it is enough to just come out on the other side still standing. 

“…so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet.”(The Message)

When suffering leads to perseverance that chisels out character that ekes out hope; when we have stared through the difficulties to the God-faced possibilities; when our knees have wobbled and our toes curled ‘round the clods’; when the day of evil has come — "and after you have done everything, to stand." Sometimes just showing up and standing is enough. The harvesting will come on another day.

Not as a contrast, but to preserve us from hopeless hanging around, while we are standing there are things we can do. Standing naked will not suffice. There is apparel even for...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.