Bob Mumford here; Eric asked me to write this month’s update. It is my distinct privilege to personally address you. Both Eric and I have discussed at length our personal gratitude to you and for you; thank you for your concern and the manner in which each of you have covered and sustained us as we have tried to give birth to a relevant message and seek to instruct each one of us how it is to be lived. We can now, with increased confidence, say to you that we are in possession of the essence of the Agape Road to the degree that we can, in Christ, instruct others on the manner and disciplines needed for us to come more boldly and more comfortably to the Father, Himself.
We are planning to set these principles forth in the Learning Center that is planned for Sayre, OK April 16-18, 2010. You can visit our website www.lifechangers.org or call the office for details and registration. How we should like to see you there. We will, of course, make all of this content available to you in a complete CD series.
Our theme for this letter is A Dose of Kingdom Reality. We are increasingly clear that the emphasis on coming to the Father is both biblical and urgent. When we discovered the distinction between Church as Mother and Kingdom as Father, it forced sets of changes, the expansion of which we could not anticipate. The origin of the phrase alma mater is Latin for "nourishing mother." Surely, this is the proposed role for the Church as Christ intended. As we are and have been nourished, His intent was then that we be delivered over to the Father for the unfolding of Father’s purpose. Compare Gal 4:1-5 in Amplified or The Message.
In this update, I should like very much to say some things to those who can “see” the necessity of our growing up, relating differently to the principles that served us in our childhood. This seems so obvious yet so difficult to state and communicate. Consider the following dissimilar definitions of some familiar terms. If you would consider them carefully, my sense is that some of the urgent issues will become increasingly clear. I also would like to say some things that I have said to all of you over the years. Perhaps this could best be accomplished by my proverbial lists. My thinking is that when these are placed alone, rather than in a setting, we are able to seize the lesson more quickly. Think on these things:
Kingdom: The New Jerusalem coming to earth by means of God’s Agape becoming incarnate in His Own people. Few of us have practically understood that the New Jerusalem is “coming down.” Kingdom refuses clear definition for the simple reason of its magnitude and transcendence.
Salvation: Father’s many-faceted redemptive act designed to bring us to Himself. To confuse the issue by making the issue to be going to Heaven instead of “Father’s will being done on the earth” is most costly. Please understand that Heaven is real; it simply is not a goal but a destiny.
Church: Those called out to participation in the birthing of Father’s purpose as defined in the Kingdom definition above. The “nourishing mother” is designed to proclaim, baptize, and then provide men and women who have been prepared for the larger purpose determined by the Father, Himself. Church, then, would become more evident as the birthing place of the Kingdom and its earthly purpose.
Agape: Father’s Own communicable attributes (DNA) that He has made Incarnate, apart from which we are simply unable to please Him. The Agape paradigm is fast becoming that missing hermeneutical principle that is encouraging and releasing all of us to “love as Father loves,” freely, more spontaneous, and much more risky or adventurous.
Faith: The currency of the Kingdom. The talk and expression of the concept of faith may or may not reveal the actual presence of the Kingdom. Heb 11:5-6 reveals the fact that faith is that which pleases God for the simple reason that it does “work by Agape.” Faith may be best understood as intentional human response to God’s authority. It is, as James insists, an action, as compared to mental assent.
Justice: The very foundation of God’s Throne. (Heb 1:8) Justice is a manifestation of Father’s heart toward all of His Creation. It is His Nature and concluding result of His DNA; therefore, justice should be always be a manifestation of His Own family. May our Lord Jesus show us His Justice in the earth! My sense is that He is beginning to show us how to deal with systemic poverty.
Sin: Scripture records Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin (singular) of the world. Sin is a condition that leads to sins (plural). Jesus absorbed the condition of sin into His Own Person, the result of which is our New Birth. My actions (plural) are now governed by the principles of the New Jerusalem, which is His Kingdom coming to earth. This is, as we have sought to make clear, that which is transcendent (God Himself) becoming immanent (Christ as Agape made human); consequentially, the New Birth is Father’s Will becoming Incarnate in the earth, our new birth. This is stated in Eph 3:17.
Stronghold: a carefully constructed pre-supposition that we have personally constructed from material that consists of partial and/or unbiblical input and assumptions. This stronghold then asserts itself as “our full and total commitment to partial truth.” It serves to lock us into a mental prison, which is most difficult to break. Paul says that the stronghold is designed to prevent us from “knowing God.” It was one of God’s great theologians, T. Austin Sparks, who saw that “our non-negotiable commitment to partial truth was one of the more stubborn and complex issues of the modern Church.”
Continuing my theme: A dose of Kingdom Reality, allow me to make some serious suggestions in the realm of practical Kingdom living. The purpose of our “growing up” should always be implicit and part of our decision making. We are requested and expected to mature so that we become part of the answer and not part of the problem. In this following sequence of Kingdom Reality, I hope to encourage you to act in response. The years 2012 through 2017 will prove to be globally disruptive and unusually tumultuous. Many insightful men and women whom I am reading suggest that we are “looking at the end of the world as we have known it.” Please do not read that as “the end of the world.” No, the modifying phrase is “as we have known it,” meaning we are, unavoidably, in for earth-shaking and unexpected events that will prove to be more than disruptive. You can be “part of the answer” with some simple and needed spiritual and financial preparation. The “end of the world as we know it” will demand some spiritual agility. No, I do not think the sky is falling, but I do think the Kingdom is being revealed! Carefully assess these thoughts:
• God’s Kingdom responds to its own supply and demand; it recognizes and asks for no other authority outside of itself. My sense is that it is time for Father to begin to reveal His Kingdom, which implies the shaking of all other Kingdoms that seek to function in competition.
• Kingdom priority and transcendence are sources of protection against short-sighted government actions and interventions. Seated with Christ causes us to look at things extraordinarily differently. (Psalm 2) Do you remember: Keep looking down?
• The fact that the Kingdom, not the Church, is unshakable, stabilizes our economic and political outlook. It also requires “Kingdom thinking,” which is increasingly imperative.
• Kingdom behavior, that is “use it; save it; make it do” will serve to wean us from western style materialism and protect us from increased indebtedness and/or inflationary demeanor.
• We must recognize “compulsivity” in all phases of our life. Moderation is an expensive and ever-increasingly obligatory virtue. Balance is an evidence of being ruled by Agape.
This may be a lot to chew on; however, we believe it to be timely and of importance. Please know how valuable you and your families are to us. We hold you before the throne of grace and deeply love and appreciate you.