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Deuteronomy 6:5 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Great Commission

Matthew 28: 18-20

“All Authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go, therefore, and make disciple of all nations, baptizing them in the name
Of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe
Everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always,
to the end of the age.

 The Great Commission was the last and arguably the most important words that Jesus spoke to His disciples before ascending into Heaven. He basically said look fellas; I have been with you and you with Me. You know what I am about, you have seen what I have done, and you know that I save. So go and tell the world about Me. Teach them, disciple them, baptize them just like I did to you. And know that you’re not doing this alone; I will be with you every step of the way. Not only was Jesus speaking these words to His disciples, He was speaking them to us if we believe and follow Him.
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” That’s the first line of the great commission. What does that mean? Well by dying on the cross Jesus reigned victorious over death. What is the significance of this? 1 Corinthians 15: 54-57 “Death has been swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Death has no authority over the life of the believer because it is not the end. Because Christ reigned victorious over death Satan and the ending of our Earthly vessel is not our hope. Jesus is. He has been given all Authority in heaven because in John 5:22 “The Father, in fact judges no one but has given all judgment over to the son…” Jesus has the final say in Heaven. He will be the one who judges. This is a great comfort to the believer because despite all circumstances and dangers this world throws at us, we have Jesus. The Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, Savior and King on our side. He is for us, He loves us, He saved us, and is with and waiting for us as we speak. Nothing will ever be able to separate us from Him and his love (Romans 8:38-39).

The rest of the commission is summed up with one simple word, Go. Jesus did not say wait until you feel comfortable. He did not say wait four years and then Go. He simply said Go. Bing defines the word Go as “to move toward a person or place with the intention of doing something specific.” And that is exactly what Jesus commanded these guys to do. The place, “all nations,” all nations is where you are now, where you will be in five years. Its Adamsville and Africa, Clarksville and Cambodia, America and Asia. He does confine the area we are to take the Gospel, he says all nations. And he gets specific with what we are to do, he specifically says “make disciple of all nations, baptizing them in the name Of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” Jesus says just tell them about Me. Teach them about Me, bring Me into their lives in the same way that I came into your lives and allow Me to change them. You know the beauty of Jesus’s ministry was that spent so much time in the disciples life doing the same things that He commissioned them and us to do. And that was to make disciples. Jesus took 12 ordinary men and totally changed and transformed their lives, and all He asks us to do is be the vessels that allow Him to do that now. Because the Bible says in Romans 10:14 “…And how can they believe without hearing about Him?...” We are to be the vessel that brings the Good News of the Gospel and Jesus to these ears.

Jesus ends this commission in a way that should encourage us. He you are not alone while you do this, I am right by your side. “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Although hardships, persecution, heartache, and pain may come your way because of Me, I am right beside you. I am here with you. How do you think Paul found joy in Prison? It was not because he loved jail, but it was because He knew he had Jesus. Or what of Peter and John when they were told they could not Preach the gospel anymore, did the stop? No, they continued on because they knew that had Jesus, and he meant more to them than anything the rules of that time could do. He is right beside us every step of the way, Do we embrace that?

We live in a society today in which the words of the Bible are sometimes looked upon as a book of great suggestions or recommendations. But friends nothing could be further from the truth. I believe that it is time for us to wake up and see exactly what they Bible has to say, and more than that DO IT. We have all heard of the Great Commission if you have been around the Church for any amount of time. But do we live it, are we totally abandoned to its cause? If we are great let’s keep it up. But if not what does that say about us? Forgive me for my bluntness but I believe that it says we have no respect or fear for the One who has all of eternity in His hands. It says we are more important that He is. But the good news is, it’s not too late. Ask for forgiveness and move on. And “Go, therefore, and make disciple of all nations, baptizing them in the name Of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.”

 Ezekiel 3:18
"When I say to the wicked, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lean On Me...


Many times in life we find ourselves in situations where we simply just do not understand why things are happening. Why do people die? Why did I lose my job? Why did I have this car wreck today? Why me? I feel that in every situation all things work together for those who love God. It’s Biblical (Romans 8:28). I also believe that if God is on our side and that He has things willed for us, and we believe them that nothing can ever stop or stand against us. All we have to do is lean on God and His understanding to bring us through these times and situations. Look up unto Him for His will and direction and will for our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
What does trusting in the Lord with all of our hearts look like? It looks like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego getting thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to bow down. Daniel refusing to pray and being thrown into the lion’s den. David walking out to face Goliath. All of these people trusted that God would be with them, that He had their best interest in mind. They took a step of faith, and despite unthinkable odds each came out alright. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego walked out of the fiery pit alive. Daniel was not harmed at all by the lions. And David killed a giant with a single stone. They each took a leap of faith, completely trusted in God and His understanding of things.
When someone tells us that we should not lean on our own understanding we look at them like they are crazy. However, I believe that God knows best. Why should we not lean on our own understandings? Because we only look at the temporary, we cannot see the future, and many times do not remember the past. But God does. He was, and is, and forever will be. He knows the plans that he has for us (Jeremiah 29:11). He understands everything that he has for us and we should trust in that. He did not create us to fail, to be miserable, and to do nothing. He created us to lean on Him and His understanding so that He can guide us through everything, the good and the bad. 
For God to guide us we have to allow ourselves to be guided. “In all your ways acknowledge Him…” Not in some of your ways, or most of your ways but in all of your ways. Many times I believe that we all choose to keep part of our lives to ourselves instead of fully submitting completely to God. In these times we wonder why things are going bad. We lose sight of the big picture of God and who He is. The Bible states many times that we are to look up  and focus on God. In the Sermon on the Mount is says to “Seek first the kingdom of God…” Do we really seek first the kingdom of God? I believe that if we really did things would be completely different. I believe that we would be so heavenly minded that the world would see Jesus for who he really is. We no longer will be hypocrites walking around without feelings of guilt and self-worthlessness. We will walk around displaying the love of the Savior who gave His life to save us from our sins. And when the world sees that…. Look out.
You know when we acknowledge God with our whole lives, “He directs our paths.” He does not say your own your own Josh, do it yourself. He says follow me, do as I do, let my Holy Spirit guide you. When we fully submit to God, things become clear to us. When doubt and chaos arise our faith prevails. We stay on the narrow path of faith instead of looming through the wide gate of sin. We allow God our Shepherd king to herd us to where He would have us to be… His Will. 
God does not want us to wander through life wondering what in the world are we doing. He wants to reveal himself to us. He wants us to go through life with a purpose. That purpose is to give Him honor and glory in all that we do. It is to seek him with all of our hearts (Jeremiah 29:13). It is to tell others about Him. It is to go into all of the world teaching others about Christ and baptizing them in His name (Matthew 28: 19-20). Are you willing to lean on Him?

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Lord Is...

It's been an extremely long time since I last sat down and wrote on this page. A lot has happened between that time and now. Football season is in its fourth week. We actually play our first home game tomorrow against UTM. I turned 21 on my last birthday (No, I didn't have a drink). And just a lot has gone on in my heart spiritually, a few valleys and a real high peak. All I can say is that it really feels good to be inspired to write on this blog again, and I hope that God blesses you the same way that He blesses me through this blog.

 
Psalms 23:1
"The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want."
 
One of the most quoted verses in the entire Bible is Psalms 23:1. However, I feel that it is also one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible at the same time. We simply glance over this verse and look deeper into the meaning of the rest of the popular Psalm. I want us to look and examine the wonderful truth and blessings that it has for us today.
 
The Lord is... a simple statement that packs a big punch... The Lord is, what does that mean? Exactly what it says, the Lord is, just like me and you are here now. He is existent, alive, moving, breathing, saving, working, blessing, amongst a lot of other stuff. Some says that's not so, He was alive many years ago when He walked the earth and was crucified and all of that but not now. Still others say He will be in the future when we are all in Heaven but definitely not now while I am here living my life. I'm here to tell you that the Lord not only was and will be, but HE IS. In Revelation 4:8 the Word states "...Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty,Who was and is and yet to come." Clearly showing not only was God, and God will be, but that God is.
 
For the believer there is no greater promise than the next part of this verse, "The Lord is my shepherd..." This means that if you have a relationship with the Lord, he looks out for you. He is your guide, He helps fight off the devil, He protects you from the enemy, His Blood covers all of your sins. John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The Good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." John 10:27-30 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and my Father are one." There is no benefit like having the Lord as your shepherd. However, the Lord can only be your shepherd if you ask and allow Him to be your shepherd. You have to completely surrender to His leadership and His direction. You cannot do your own thing. He cannot and will not be your shepherd if you do not let him.
 
Finally, when the Lord is you shepherd, you shall not want. Why is that? Because The Lord is all that you need. He supplies you with grace, peace, joy, and most importantly life. John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life..." As a believer you should want nothing more than you do Jesus, and as a result you have all you want. Our lives should be seeking God in such a way that He takes all of our hearts. In Jeremiah 29:13 the Word says " And you will seek Me and find Me, when your search for Me with all of your heart." Not with part of your heart, of 99.99999% of your heart, but with all of your hear.
 
You know Adrian Rogers once told a story of a little girl who misquoted Psalms 23:1. She said "The Lord is My shepherd, I've got all I want." As Adrian did, I believe that this girl got the point of this verse. When we truly have to Lord and allow Him to be our shepherd we truly have everything that we have ever wanted. Is the Lord your shepherd?
 
 



Friday, July 20, 2012

Convenient Christianity...

What is a convenient Christian? Most would say someone who strolls into Church on Sunday morning sits down, hears the service, leaves and never gives God another thought until the next service. While this may be true I believe it goes much much deeper than this...

Revelation 3:16
"I know your works, that you are neither
cold nor hot. I will vomit you our of my mouth."

A convenient Christian is someone who is a Christian when it benefits them or when it fits their plans... Someone who does the Godly thing only when others are watching, when it brings them praise. An individual who sees sin as merely something that we do instead of something that devastates and breaks God's heart. Their actions behind closed doors would drop jaws. They take advantage of  the grace that Jesus paid such a high cost for. Someone who is not completely bought into Christ... A hypocrite.

I write this post with a heavy heart because I have and sometimes find myself being a convenient Christian. It's something that God has really burdened my heart with right now as we speak. I am not worthy to be writing this blog but for some reason God has led me to write this. You see every post I write is exactly what God has been teaching me and this post will be no different.

 Lately, my life has been a humongous mess. To say the least I have been conveniently serving God (if that's what you want to call it) and partaking in sinful activity. Falling for the lie that I have just enough God in my life to make everything all right. Feeling God's tug and pull to run to Him, but conveniently choosing to ignore His call and stay comfortably right where I am. Choosing to conveniently please any worldly lust and desire that my body or mind has because it feels good. Conveniently taking advantage of the grace that God shed for me on the Cross. Conveniently being and serving Me instead of absolutely serving the one and only God... Being lukewam, neither cold nor hot...

Looking at me, why do I choose to be lukewarm? Because I feel that I am infallible, incapable of sin. Definitely wrong from every angle you wanna look at it because "All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God," Romans 3:23. All have (past tense) and all fall (present and future) short of the glory of God. None of us including myself are incapable of sinning. It's our nature to sin, and every time we feel we are incapable of sinning it's what we end up doing. And when sin is what we end up doing it separates us from God. It creates a wedge between us and God that pulls us apart. It constricts, consumes, and controls us. It provides a path for the Devil to enter into our lives and condemn us, to tell us that we are not worthy, to say "Go ahead and do it. After all, God will forgive you."

 It's at this point that He has us right where he wants us. We give in even more... And more... And more... Until we look around and wonder where we are, why we got this way, and how can we ever get back. We conveniently put ourselves into this inconvenience. But the good news is that God inconveniently places His son on the Cross so that we can Conveniently be forgiven for all our our sins.

Isaiah 53:5
 "But He was pierced for our transgressions,
 he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us
 peace was upon Him, and by his wounds we are healed."

God, our Father sent his son so that we might be forgiven. He could have chose to leave us here on earth with no means of salvation, with no way to get to Him. But he didn't. He loves us way to much to do that. Instead He chose to send Jesus to pay our debt. He took on all of my sins on that cross. I go numb when I think that every lashing, mocking, spitting, he took was for me... That when they stretched his hand out onto the Cross and drove the nails home it was for me... As the blood poured out and He breathed His last it was for me... The pain, agony, and abandonment Jesus felt on the cross was all for me. How can I conveniently choose to serve a Savior like that? How can I choose to halfheartedly give my life to someone who whole heartedly gave themselves for me? How can I take advantage of the grace you gave me on the cross?

Lord, forgive me for half-heartedly serving you. For conveniently giving myself to you. I pray that you help me to battle the sins in my life that constrict, control, and consume me Lord. You took on all of my sins Lord willingly, yet I mock you each time I willingly sin. God forgive me of my ignorance and stupidity. I lay all of my life at your feet Lord. Take it God. I no longer give you part of me but all of me Lord. Lead me where I need to be led... Teach me where I need to be taught... And give me the strength to overcome all of my weaknesses Lord... Thanks for being You Lord... Amen

Matthew 6: 24
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."



Monday, July 16, 2012

Be Still...

When was the last time you were still? Just sat around and knew that God was God? If you are anything like me the answer to these questions is a very, very long time. In a world where we are asked to go a million miles per hour, do more that we are capable of doing, and staying so busy that nothing else matters there is absolutely no time left. No time for the One who created us. No time for the One who died for us. No time for the One who is the reason we are here.

Psalms 46:10 " Be still, and know that I am God....."

God tells us to be still.... not just slow down but be still. To put down the smart phones, quit scrolling through facebook statuses and tweets, turn off the tv, clear our minds and be absolutely still. To get away from every and anything that will take our minds away from Him and be still. More than that, in this stillness he asks us to "know that I am God." How can I be still and know that God is God? Take the time to simply look at a sunset or sunrise. Look at the beauty of a rainbow or the power in a thunderstorm. Look at how fragile a newborn baby is or how powerful a lion is. Look at all of the things that He has done for you in your life and how He has been faithful and provided for you. I mean really who else but God could have done this?

Romans 6:20 "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood bu the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."





Psalms 46:10
"Be Still and Know that I am God..."

Check out This Song

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Serving the Lord....

This weekend I am in Georgetown, Kentucky visiting some friends. Filled with excitement I took off and fifteen minutes it began to rain. And it rained some more. And when I thought it could not rain anymore, it did. More than that, my GPS decided to quit along the way, so I drove about half of the trip blindly until it booted up again. Despite all of these difficulties and annoyances I continued on the way... I was ready to see these friends, to spend time with them, just to hang out with them. And so far the trip has been completely worth it.

You know I was reading the Word this morning and came across a passage that really got me to thinking. How many difficulties and annoyances am I willing to endure and go through for my faith? 2 Timothy 2:3 "You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." Hardship is not simply something that might happen to us as we pursue the Lord. It is something that we Must and most certaintly Will endure. You see the Devil is all the time trying to tear us down... Pull us away from the Lord... Get us to fail Him, disown Him.... Just check out the Book of Job. But how much hardship are we willing to face? Many times I feel that we want or relationship with Christ to be easy. We want the road to be full of Sunshine and Blue skies instead of rain and thunder. But what kind of Journey is that? Where is the faith?

You see I feel that God uses these hardships to draw us to Him. He uses these times to grow us in our Faith. To give us a powerful testimony. To give us an opportunity to be a Witness to people. In the Book of Acts 16: 25-34 we find the Apostle Paul and Silas in Jail. V. 26 and earthquake hits the Jail and loosed all of the doors. Instead of escaping the Jail they all stayed V. 28. As a result of being in Jail and staying although they could have left "And he brought them out and said "Sirs what must I do to be saved?" So they said "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." (V. 30-31) As a result this man and his family were all saved and baptized V. 33.

Look at David defeating Goliath as another such story. Look at the  Israelite’s  hardships as they Journeyed to the Promise Land. The life the Disciples lived. Paul's post conversion story life. The Bible is full of people who faced a multiple of hardships as they served the Lord, but through these times they changed lives, grew closer to God, and were content. You know of Lord also suffered the most cruel hardship on our behalf. He was perfect but because I am imperfect He had to take on the cross. He personally took on each and everyone of my sins. And because of this, because he choose to serve me by taking on my sins, by hanging on that Cross; I choose to suffer innumerable hardships on His behalf.

2 Timothy 1: 12 "For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Everything is You...


I had just wrote half of a post and God immediately took me in a different direction. Wrong or right I'm pouring my heart out now and I know that this is what God is having me to write. You know "You can't see another door open if you are always staring at a door that is closed," and "Insanity is constantly doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result." For some reason I heard these quotes once and they stuck with me. Silly simple little quotes that pack a deep message that often times I need to hear. I found myself praying just recently and realized that I was stuck in a hole, lost in the insanity of repetition, staring at doors that more than likely have been closed for some time. Why? Because I couldn't let go. I was not ready to face the fact that well... God has different plans (Jeremiah 29:11).

 Many times we build a wall around ourselves and keep what we want to keep in and throw out what we want to throw out. Constantly fooling ourselves that we always know best because well, we know what the best plan for our lives is. However, this could not be further from the truth. After all, I don't know of anybody who knows the numbers of the hair on their head (Luke 12:7). We make everything in our lives about us... It's what WE want. It's what WE think is best. It's what WE think will satisfy us. And the things that WE think are best often times are not what is best.

 In the midst of all of this God put Philippians 3:7-8 on my heart “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord...." These things, this ME mindset, thinking I knew what was best for my life, running from the conviction and calling of God was destroying me. Tearing me apart. Keeping me from experiencing God. But the apostle Paul clearly states "I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." He let go.... He gained that knowledge.... He wasn't lost in insanity.... His life wasn't about what he wanted, it was about what God wanted (v.7).

 Nothing in this life should come between us and God. That's why God put this verse on my heart. "I count ALL THINGS LOSS... Not just some things, but everything. Why do I count these things loss? "For the EXCELLENCE of the KNOWLEDGE of CHRIST JESUS." What on earth is more precious that Jesus? What on earth is more worthy of or time and devotion that Jesus? Nothing at all... Not any Boyfriend of Girlfriend. No sport, video game, or computer. No bone, disease, or sickness. No hobby, pastime, or car. No son, daughter, or parent. Why? Because they did not create us (Psalms 139:13-16). They did not die for our sins (Luke 23: 26-49).They cannot save us (John 14:6).

The sole purpose for our lives are to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Our lives should Sing out His Name and Praises. Jesus made his life completely about us by taking on the cross. He took on each and every one of my sins... Yours too. I have no clue where you are in your life or where you have been, but I guarantee you that Jesus does. Just trust in him.... His plan. Don't be like me and get distracted, caught up in insanity. Staring at doors that are probably closed or never were open. Hold onto to Philippians 3:8 "I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord...."

 Jesus forgive me for making my life about me because it definitely isn't. You took on my sin, died for me, and always loved me. Help me to realize that in all that I do, Everything is You....

 Philippians 3:14

"I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cut It Out

This past week I underwent surgery to cut out the pre-patellar bursa in my right knee. For those of you who do not know what the bursa is, it is a sac of fluid that protect the knee cap and allows for the skin to slide smoothly over the knee cap. The bursa in my right knee has been inflamed for sometime and has hindered my mobility, particularly in the athletic arena. I was not able to lift, condition, or recover the way that I wanted to. It was slowing me down, keeping me from being all that I was capable of being. So, the doctors went in and cut this bursa out of my right knee. Once it recovers, the knee will be as good as new. Throughout this process, God has really been speaking to me. Telling me something that i really need to hear.

Hebrews 12:1 ".... Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Much like the bursa was setting me back from training from football, sin sets us back from running the race of Faith in our lives. Look at the metaphor that Jesus presents here. He uses the words weight and ensnares with run, endurance, and race. These words do not go together. You see who runs an endurance race with an extra 10 pounds on their back? Who goes and runs with snares set up along the path? Nodody that I know of. Most people run when they are as light as they possibly can be, and along a path that is as free of hazards as they can possibly make it.

Why do we treat or spiritual lives differently? We burden ourselves with doubt, worry, fear, guilt, shame, money, relationships, the world. We get caught up in the snares of sin such as lust, gossip, cussing, etc. We say that we a running toward God with all of hearts but how is that so when we are so weighed down and trapped that we can do nothing but barely take a step. We need to Cut It Out to "lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares us." Why? Because then we can run towards God with all that we have. We will not be weighed down by all of the extra stuff that means nothing at all. We will not be caught up in our sins that separate us from God. We will be "Running to his arms" where "the riches of his love will always be enough."

What is weighing you down friend? What is the sin to so easily ensnares you? I pray to we all have the courage to lay these things aside and run towards God with all that we have. Is it going to be easy? Heck no, but I know that it is going to be worth it. Let's make it our personal goal to run towards God with all that we have, leaving behind "every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us."

Matthew 11: 29-30 "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Writing from the Heart

This is something that is a lot different than the other stuff that i have posted in the past. I wrote this a couple of months ago and it has been really fitting in my life lately. I hope you enjoy, came straight from my heart.

My heary cries out full out doubt
All the time thinking Your love I'm without
I didn't stop, never listened, only lived in fear
All the while Your love was nothing but near

You were in my heart, but I couldn't see
How in the world You could love a sinner like me
Have faith my dear loved one, look up to Me
I showed you My love when I died on that tree

Every beat of my heart, let it beat for You
For without Your love my life is nothing but through
There's no reason to doubt, or live in fear
Because all the while Your love will be nothing but near

I will rise from these ashes, I'm set free from these chains
My eyes are on You, heart set on heavenly gain
As I walk, As I talk, let Your love shine through
So that all may see My life, I gave to You

Galatians 6:14 "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Don't Hide and Go Seek

This is probably the most personal post that I have written up to this point, as it is strictly everything that God has been telling me for a long long time. You see, at this point last year I was heavily doubting my salvation in Christ. And for a good time afterwards the doubt was still there. It was constantly there always tugging and pulling at my heart. I prayed and I prayed, but I never did anything... I hid. Never put any effort into seeking God, but put plenty of time into hiding because it was the only thing that I felt that I could do. However, this could be nothing further from the truth.

Jeremiah 29:13 states "And you will seek Me and find me, when your search for Me with all your heart." When you play a game of hide and go seek you have a person counting and everyone else is hiding. When the counter gets to a designated number he begins to seek the people who are hiding. He does not just simply run around like a chicken with his head cut off, he searches with a purpose. A purpose of finding those who are hiding. That is how our relationship should be with God. We should be like the counter seeking those which are hidden. Our purpose seeking God But you know what the great thing about our God is? He is not hiding. He is literally inside of us. His book is right in front of us. We do not have to search for Him, He is right here. We just have to open our eyes and put forth effort.

 Looking back on the times when I doubted, I was doing the opposite of seeking God. I was hiding from Him. Never seeking Him, never putting forth any effort and wondering why I always felt the same way. He lead me to the verse in Jeremiah and began to speak. Saying Josh, what are you doing man. I have done everything for you brother. I have given you my life, my blood, everlasting life. What have you given me? I was stunned. All I could say was half-hearted praise. Everything less that everything. At that moment I realized that reason I was doubting is because I had not given God everything. Right then, right there I did. That's where this Blog came from. That's where Bible study came from. In one moment I went from doing nothing to doing something. From doubting to shouting out Christ in all areas of my life. Am I perfect? Heck NO. But with God in my life I am imperfectly perfect.

I like the way the Sidewalk Prophets describe seeking Christ with your whole heart "Recklessly Abandoned, Never Holding Back." What does reckless abandoned mean? It means everything, like a kamikaze pilot headed straight towards Jesus. The only mission we have in life is Jesus. To seek Him, to serve Him, and to love Him. To give Him everything because he gave us everything. To seek Him because he first sought us Luke 19:10 "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Are you out there hiding? He is searching for you friend. He desperately wants you, wants to hold you. Wants to call you one of his own. Will ya let him? It will be the best decision you have ever made. Are you serving God with your whole heart? Are you willing to Seek Him with your whole heart in order that you find Him? Don't be like me and hide, go seek God with your whole heart and He will take care of the rese.

Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore bretheren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.



Monday, June 4, 2012

Certainty Amidst the Uncertain


There are times in life when we are uncertain about actions, thoughts, or decisions. If we are to be totally honest each and every day we face a multitude of things that we are uncertain about. For instance, many times we are indecisive and uncertain about whether the clothes we are wearing look good, whether or not we are driving on the right roads, did we do the right thing, is the answer A,B,C,or D, am I where God wants me to be. In my life I have been uncertain about my salvation, where I should go to school, what is my purpose in life. My current life is not without uncertainty and confusion as I am uncertain about what God wants me to do with my life, about the choices that I am to make, and about certain relationships. However, amidst all of the confusion and chaos there is a God who rises above and beyond all of the confusion and chaos.

In the middle of all of the confusion and uncertainty in my life God has been telling me I am here, I will take care of you, it’s not for you to understand it’s just for you to follow Me. I will guide you through this. Many times we are uncertain about things because we are scared about the outcome, we see that it might not be safe, we do not understand it. In Proverbs 3:5-6 the Word states “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." We have a Lord who says trust in Me, and I will direct you paths. Do not lean on your understanding, because our understanding is temporary. It only sees what we know, see, and feel. Whereas God's understanding reaches from the beginning of time to the ending of time. His understanding encompasses the will that He has for our lives Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Even in the confusion and uncertainty that fills our lives we have a God who is absolutely certain about where we are headed. The storms, indecision, and restlessness are there for a reason. To draw us closer to Him.
Psalms 18:28-33
"For you will Light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in HIm.
For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect.
He makes my feel like the feet of deer,
And sete me on high places."
.
The Lord will light up the uncertainty, the darkness in our lives. If we trust Him and are in Him He gives us the strength to do the things that he has called us to do, no matter how uncertain it may seem to us. The way that the Lord has for us is perfect. Although everything around you may seem like it is uncertain, trust in the Lord and his perfect way because well... It’s perfect. He protects us from all things with His shield and nothing will overcome HIs shield because he is the creator of all. He is God, He is our Rock. The Lord will provide us with the strength to pull us out of our confusion and uncertainties and guide us down his perfect path. After all, where God guides he always provides.
If you are living amidst confusion and uncertainty in your life Trust in the Lord. Do not lean on your own understanding, lean on the everlasting arms of Christ. He has you there for a reason, a reason that we cannot see the majority of the time. Trust in His path, His way because it is without flaw. It is perfect in ways that we will never know or understand. When all else is uncertain we can find certainty in Christ Jesus. Our God, Our Rock, Our Creator, The One Who Guides us down His perfect path

Psalms 18: 30-31
"He is a shield to all who trust in HIm.
For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Peril of Adultery

This will be the hardest blog post that God has laid upon my heart to write so far. It is on an issue that has and is consuming many people in our world today. And to be completely honest with you, if I'm not careful it consumes me. Adultery, a word that many believe to be a physical act of sexual infedility. However the Bible clearly states that "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28. You see our world has sugar coated the world adultery with the word Lust. It's ok to lust after someone, afterall nothing will ever become of it. That could be nothing farther from the truth. You see it starts in the mind, you perceive these images, these fantasies, and you start to believe them. You start to live in them. It becomes who you are, it becomes what you want, it satisfies you, it leaves you wanting more. Eventually you pursue that next step. That's why the amounts of teens having sex these days is at a startling high. Do you think they just all of a sudden wanted to do the do? NO, it was a process that started as "lust" and led to more.

You know the Bible is straight forward in its approach to this issue. 1 Corinthians 6:18 "Flee from sexual immorality..." Not just stay away from it, but run as fast as you can in the other direction. RETREAT. The Book of Proverbs talking about an adulterous woman states "Remove your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house," 5:8. I really feel that this verse is full of applicable wisdom in our lives. "And do not go near the door of her house." What does this mean? Do not put yourself in a situation where these thoughts of actions occur. Do not go near them. In other words if your computer causes you to participate in adulterous activity do not use it. If watching certain movies causes you to have adulterous thoughts quit watching them. If a certain girl causes you to engage of think in an adulterous way, leave. Do Not Go Near the Door of Her House. Why? Because its sin, it comes in between us and God. It consumes us, it takes us away from the Best that God has in store for us. Well you say this is radical, do you really expect me to do these things? To give up the computer, a relationship, or certain movies? I don't expect you too but the word is clear Do Not Go Near the Door of Her House. Afterall, was it not radical that our Savior was Crucified, that He gave it all up for you and Me?

In the Book of Matthew Jesus says "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, that for your whole body to be cast into hell," 5:29-30. Get rid of the things that cause you to fall into the trap of adultery. Jesus himself said this not me. Is it going to be a struggle? Dang right it is, an everyday battle. You see Satan has filled this world with signs and signals that prompt us towards adultrous thoughts. TV advertisments, television shows, magazines, clothing, and the list goes on and on and on... But you know what, Our God is Greater, Our God is Stronger 1 John 4:4 "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because he who is in you is greater that he who is in the world." Our god is greater.

There is no doubt someone out there who is reading this and is struggling. Someone out there who needs help. Someone out there in need of the Love and Forgiveness that only Jesus Christ can provide. The Bible says that God is love and in 1 John 1:9 the Bible states "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Not just wipe away our sins, but cleanse us of our sins. Take us to a heavenly bathtub and wash them away, send them down the drain. You may say, You have no clue what I have done? To which I reply you have no clue what I have done. But what I do know is that God forgives all of all because he gave us His All. There is no partiality. Are you willing to accept his forgiveness today dear Friend? If so, ask him for forgiveness, receive his forgiveness, Repent/walk away from that sin, and Give It all, and Live it all for Him.

Romans 8:31 "What then shall we say to these things? If our God is for us, who can be against?
Phillippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Our God

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Stumbling Block


I’m sitting with a friend of mine one night casually talking amidst a large crowd of people. We were discussing everything from football to sunrises. Suddenly the talk turned to religion and the exact words from his mouth were “You know I don’t get Christians. They say all of these things and you know look over there those two girls are the drunkest two at this party. They are no different than I am.” Unknowingly to those to individuals, they had become a stumbling block in the life of my friend.

In the book of Romans God offers gives us some advice Romans 14:21 “It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.” You know I like what my friend tweeted on this subject matter when she tweeted “ So being a Christian, yeah sometimes you have to give up what you love the most in order to obey Christ and in order to keep others from stumbling. “ You see Christ is telling us here that we are not to do anything that will come in between another individual and Christ. Instead, we should be paving the way to Christ. What exactly is a stumbling block? It’s any action, word, deed, activity, attitude, or image that a Christian does that repels or trips individuals up who are on their way to God. A person can stumble by hearing the way we talk, the jokes we make, the attitudes we have, the things we drink, the things we do. You see anytime we are not whole heartedly seeking God we run the risk of being a stumbling block to others.

You might say well God is asking me to give up things that I really love, things that define me, things that make me who I am. Well I’m here to tell your friend that Jesus gave it all for us. He nailed his life on the Cross for you and for me. He loved us enough to give away the thing that kept alive, his life in order that we could have eternal life. You see he being infinite suffered in a finite period of time what we being finite should have suffered in an infinite period of time. He loved us enough to do this for us and if we have accepted Him we are His, we have been redeemed, and we are called to love Matthew 27: 37-39 “Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” You see because we love God, we love people. And in order to Love people we must mold ourselves after God. He gave up His life in order that WE COULD BE SAVED, therefore we are to give up the things in our lives that do not bring him Glory, that cause or could cause others to stumble in order that others MIGHT BE SAVED. To keep our witness in check. You see nobody wants to told about Christ by someone who they see living in a way that contradicts what they are saying. They will not listen when they are stumbling. Do you want to cause someone to stumble, to keep them from coming to Christ? I certainly don’t.  You know the word states this “Greater love has no one that this, that to lay down one’s life for his friends,” John 15:13. God has laid down his life for us, His friends. Are we willing to lay down the things in our lives that cause our friends to stumble?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spiritual Spell Check

About two weeks ago I was reading through the blog a noticed the tremendous amount of spelling errors that were throughout all of the posts. I was and still am embarrassed by the amount of errors that were on the page; however I learned a deep lesson through this process.  We have this modern invention these days called spell check, which looks over our writings and helps us to correct the mistakes. It serves as somewhat of an editor; it judges our writings to keep us from making foolish mistakes. It saves us from getting a bad grade on our English papers or looking like a retard on blogs. The unfortunate part about this technology is that it is not readily available everywhere you type on a computer, just Microsoft Word in my case.

 All I had to do to keep my work spelling error free was use this software, let down the feelings of spelling invincibility and help myself out. Immediately following this episode with the blog, God really began to convict me at a personal level (which is why I have not posted in a while). Ever heard the phrase “you better check yourself before you wreck yourself?” That is exactly what God was telling me. Just like not using spell check, I had failed to evaluate my life, to look for sin, to judge myself to see my weakness, to see areas in which I was struggling and not honoring God. I was wrecking my relationship with God by be careless and doing whatever in the world seemed right. Thank God for his conviction and guidance.

In the Bible study that I lead we discussed Judging and that familiar passage came to my mind during that time Matthew 7:3-5 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother Let me remove the speck from your own eye; and look, the plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Let me preface this by saying that I was in no way judging anyone, I took this passage in a whole other context. You see, God has given us a spiritual spell check here. He is saying look into your own life for sin, listen to the conviction of my spirit, follow my guidance. REMOVE the PLANK from YOUR OWN EYE. You see as believers we are to constantly look at our lives to find areas that we can improve upon. We are to see where we a weak and exposed, areas where sin is beginning to creep into our lives. We are to be proactive instead of passive in this process. Why? Because it will keep us from having a long, hard, and great fall. 1 Corinthians 11: 31 “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.”  Judging ourselves helps keep us on the path that God has for our life, it keeps us from straying too far away on the path of sin. It keeps us spiritually grounded in the faith.

The only part about judging yourself is it’s just like spell check, you have to use/do it for it to work. It just does not miraculously happen one day as your walking down the hall; it is a practice that you must apply. It is a discipline that requires a knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, being in sync with the spirit. Being willing to be truthful with yourself in order that you can face the harsh issues, it takes open ears to be willing to listen to God’s voice and conviction and a willingness to change. It is human nature to see ourselves as being perfect and keep on living the same way, but it is Holy submission to be willing to change in order that God can receive the ultimate glory from our lives. Take it from me dear brothers and sisters, Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Friday, April 27, 2012

I Must Decrease

We hear all of the time that we are to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Jesus. However, when rubber meets the road we are unwilling to completely give ourselves away to Christ. We hold onto the securities that we have feel that we have in this world. We cling to friends, school, sin, family, and many other things and activities that we find comfort in. We are afraid to let go of these comforts and other things that we see as steady in our lives. The unfortunate thing in all of this is that these things are only temporary and many times hinder us from completely giving ourselves away.

Jesus says in Luke 14:26-27, 33 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his Father and Mother, Wife and Children, Brothers and Sisters, Yes, and His own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple."

Jesus is talking about the things that we hold dear to our hearts here. He is saying that the love that you have for any person or anything here on this earth should not even compare to the love that you have for Christ. You should love Christ so much that you you love for the thing on this earth grows less and less. Is it weird? Dang straight it is. The way that you spend your time, money, efforts, and energy will changes. The world will see yoy in a different light, but that's ok. We are called to be different, to walk a different path (Matthew 7:13-14). You see many times we believe that following Jesus is supposed to be easy, like a walk in the park. But it most definitely is not. It is a journey that is full of difficulties, but God can overcome those difficulties, we just have to let Him. We are to pursue him at such a pace that it seems that we hate the things of this world. That we let go, Cruicify ourselves, of the things that hold us back. Allow God to chisel away at our hearts and let those pieces fall and shatter on the ground.

John the Baptist said it best in John 3:30 "HE must increase, but I must decrease." What does this look like in your life? How can he increase? How can you increase? How can you apply this principle into your life? I know in my life I can let go of my desire to be in control, my temper, my selfishness, and sin. I can allow Christ to be my All, to be All in to him, to live Deuteronomy 6:5 and Jeremiah 29:13. I can truly be his hands and feet. Allow him to use my to accomplish the will that he has for my life. To let go of those things that I find security in, the things that I constantly run to when things get tough and instead, RUN TOWARDS GOD WITH ALL OF MY HEART. He must increase.... and I Must Decrease.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Lesson from Life

All of my life I have been keeping a buffer zone between me and the people that surround me. People thought that they knew me, but when in reality they didn't. People knew who I was at the most basic of levels, but never at a level deeper than that. My world was rocked just the other day when someone finally broke into the buffer zone. To be honest I was completely freaked out, absolutely speechless. How had someone finally broke into this zone, they were treading into unchartered territory. For the first time in my life I felt like I was truly out there, completely vulnerable, and I was scared. However, there is a great lesson that I have been taught through all of this, It's Good. I know your thinking It's Good sound like nothing, but hear me out and I think that you will be blessed in just the same way that I was through this.

Look at the Apostle Paul when he was on the Road to Damascus. He was walking along the road on the way to gather up believers in Damascus and his life was changed forever. God himself came into Paul's life and asked him Acts 9:4 "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" God himself confronted Saul and asked him what he was doing, he told Saul exactly what he was doing. He entered unchartered territory in Saul's life. Just like I was Saul felt vulneable, scared, and amazed Acts 9:6 "So he, trembling and astonished..." Amidst all of these emotions that were going on and the astonishment that Saul was facing, he knew it was time to let go, time to change. V. 6 "Lord what do you want me to do?" The the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." Saul knew it was time to change his ways so he obeyed and went, the rest is history. He received the Holy Spirit, his named was changed to Paul, and he became the greatest of all of the Apostles. Why? Because he was willing to accept what happened when someone came into that unchartered territory. Instead of run into a shell and hide he choose to come out and completely change. He went from Saul to Paul, from Christian killer to soul winner.

Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose." I believe that everything that happens in life happens for our good, despite how we feel in the current moment. I feel that in those moments God is trying to teach us something, just like I feel he is trying to teach me something in this moment. What is he trying to teach me? He is teaching me that in order to completely show other people his love, the buffer zone has to break. In order to completely serve him the way that I want to serve him, I can't be afraid to put myself out there. I can't be afraid to love. Why? 1 John 4:8-9 " He who does not love does not know God, for GOD IS LOVE. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him." We love because 1. God is love. and 2. He showed us his love by nailing Jesus to the cross. Not loving is simply not an option. Is is scary loving people? Dang straight it is. Could you get hurt? Most certaintly you can. The only way that you can truly love others is to first love God, and the let go of all of your fears, all of your walls, all of your what ifs and start loving. Is it going to be scary? Yes. Could you get hurt? Yes. But its worth it.

1 John 4: 18-19 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We Love him because He first loved us."

Listen to this Song by My Boys the Sidewalk Prophets- It's Good (Love's not safe)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Live Like That

My favorite Christian band, Sidewalk Prophets, recently put out their new album Live Like That. The title track, Live Like That, has become the theme for my life.

I want to live like that
And Give it all I have
So that everything I say and do points to you
If love is who I am
Then this is where I stand
Recklessly abandoned, Never Holding Back
I want to Live Like That


I Want to Live Like That.... What does that mean? Some would say that it is having that pretty house on the corner, a beautiful family, a well paying job, comfort, luxury, health, etc... Although there is nothing wrong with the life, as Christians we are called to something that is much more than this. When we say I want to live like that we are saying, God here I am let everything I say, everything I do, every part of my life Honor, glorify, and lead others to you. We are devoting ourselves to Love. The way we live our lives is going to change, it has no choice to. The way we talk, walk, act, spend our time, money, and efforts are going to change. Why? Because we will no longer conforming ourselves to the world, Romans 12:2 "And do not be CONFORMED to this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." In order to Live Like That our priorities shift from the world to God. We no longer try to mold Jesus to our lives, we allow him to take over our lives so that he can transform us into all that he wants us to be. We lose control, we are no longer in charge, Jesus is Matthew 16:24-26 "Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what Profir is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?""

The most powerful line in the whole song is the line "Recklessly Abandoned, Never Holding Back." Many times we say that we want to Live Like That but that is as far as it goes. We are not willing to let go and let God move through us. We are not willing to allow our Father and Creator to work in us to complete the purpose that he made us for. Want to see someone who was Recklessly Abandoned? Look at Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, Steven, Noah, Moses. All of these people allowed God to come into their lives and do things that others thought was crazy, and in the God's will was achieved. Because Jesus lived like that we are able to obtain salvation by Grace through Faith. Becuase Moses lived like that he led the Exodus into the Promised Land. Becuase Noah lived like that he preserved mankind and animals from dying in the flood. Becuase Peter, John, and the other disciples lived like that the early Church had leaders and began to flourish. When people live all out, God shows up and shows out. When we are recklessly abandoned and hold nothing back from God, he uses us in the most awesome ways. All we have to do is have the faith to live like that. Allow God to come into our hearts, set the example, and us follow that example. Are you willing to Live Like That?

Ephesians 5:1-2 "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma."

I want to live like that
And Give it all I have
So that everything I say and do points to you
If love is who I am
Then this is where I stand
Recklessly abandoned, Never Holding Back
I want to Live Like That

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Flawed Thinking Again




Many times as believers we pray that we become all that God wants us to become. However, we are much like the guy in this movie, we do not really believe in it happening. We do not really believe that he will do it. But the great news is that We have a God who IS and WILL and is WILLING to help us become all that he wants us to become. All we have to do is allow him to do his work.

How does God help us to become all that he has for us to be..? He reveals our sins to us. He makes it Uncomfortable for us to sin... His spirit guides out heart to Holiness. God died on the cross for our sins but many times we fail to realize what this really means. We do not think that we are good enough for God to save us, we buy into the lie of the world, the lie of satan. God died on the cross for all of sin, for all on mankind. Hebrews 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone."Key phrase MIGHT TASTE DEATH FOR EVERYONE. He died for ALL... Not for the GOOD. My Bible says in Romans 3:10 "There is none righteous, no, not one." There is not a good person in the world. No one is righteous, not even one. Nobody is good enough to be saved by God, but our GOD is GOOD ENOUGH TO SAVE US. He loves us John 3:16 "For God so LOVED the WORLD that He GAVE his only begotten Son, that whoever BELIEVES in Him shall not perish, but have Everlasting Life."God gave Jesus up for ALL not the GOOD.

Many of us were, are, or will be caught up in the lie that we are not good enough. We try to Mask our sins so that no one else will know them, and it tears us up inside. The world sees us as being this Holy person, but deep down inside we know that we are nothing more than a hypocrite. We are afraid to allow God to come into our hearts, into our lives and chisel away the sins that are holding us back because we are afraid of what he will find. When in all reality he can already see those sins, he already know them. We know that we have let God down, we just do not want him to know, but he already does. He loves us despite letting him down, he wants to pick us up. But we continue to do the same things over and over expecting different results. Insanity.... Trying to do life on our own is insanity... We feel that we are letting God down when we never ever were the ones that were holding him up... HE is the One who HOLDS US UP. And he NEVER LETS US DOWN.

I believe that the words of the Old Hymn had it right when it says
"My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus Blood and righteousness
 On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, All other Ground is sinking Sand."

When our hope is in Christ and Christ alone we are standing on the solid Rock, the rock than cannot be moved, changed, of shaken. He will hold us up because he is solid, because he loves us. BECAUSE GOD IS. All we have to do is trust GOD, obey his spirit, and put or complete FAITH in him.

Deuteronomy 32:4 "He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and Upright is He.

1 John 4:8"..... God is Love" 1 Corinthians 13:8 "Love never fails..."

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

You are his Love. Walk in it, Talk in it, Believe in it, and Live in it. You are special to Him.

Psalms 56:13 "For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God In the light of the living?"

How He Loves Us

You Love Me Anyway


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Faith...

Faith= Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Faith is the word that is at the epicenter of what we believe. However, I feel that many times we get true faith wrong. Most people say faith is "believing in God," but when things get hard they hop off of the faith train. Many people are only faithful when they know they are right, when things are easy, when no risk at all is involved. What kinda faith is that? Faithless in my opinion. It takes no faith when the odds are in your favor, when you know the circumstances and the consequences. True faith believes and acts regardless of the circumstances and in spite of the consequences. It goes outside of the comfort zone and into the God zone. It says God I don't know what is going to happen but I have the faith to do it. I'm relying on You, your strenght, your guidance, and your power to get me through this. Faith requires effort, it does not care about being popular, fitting in, or being IT. Faith actively seeks God and proclaims God all of the time regardless the cost.

The Bible is full of people of True Faith. Look at Abraham who offered up his own son Issac. Moses who Hebrews 11:25 "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin... V27 By faith, he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the King; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible." You have the Faith of the disciples who left all that they had and followed Jesus. The faith of Paul and others to boldly preach the Gospel of Christ to others despite the imprisonments, harsh words, and threats of others. These examples are in the Bible for a reason... And I feel that the reason is to show us what true faith looks like. To show us what being All In for Jesus Christ really is. Will we listen? Will we read the Word and learn? Or will we simply continue to live faithless lives?

A popular passage in the Bible talks about a Faithless man... The Rich Young Ruler Mark 10: 17-22. The Rules asks Jesus "what shall I do to enherit eternal life? V17" to which Jesus replies
 "You know the commandments.... V19" The ruler was excited because he had kept the commandments. However, following the commandments was not enough. Anyone can follow a bunch of commands (rules). Anyone can look at a list of things that you should not do and follow them. You do not have to really pur forth a great deal of faith to follow commands. In V21 Jesus says "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven and come, take up your cross and follow me." He is saying take that step of faith, come and follow me. Give up all that you know, leave it all behind, have the faith to eliminate those things and follow me. Don't have faith in the things that you have physically, but have faith in Your Father that you have spiritually. However, The Ruler "was sad at this work, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions V.22." Faithless.

Do we have the faith to say YES, I give it all away? To have faith in God despite the circumstances and consequences? Moses forsook pleasure of sin to take on affliction with the people of God. Steven lost his life for the faith that he had in God. But the good things anout Faith is that it always pays off. If it takes your life, You gain heaven. If ya suffer persecution, your blessed (Matther 5:10). If ya make it through it, there is always an opportunity to share God's love. Faith is living out what ya truly believe about God. Actions always speak louder that words. Many people talk about faith, but few live out faith.... Which one are you dear friend?

1 Timothy 6:12 "Fight the good fight of Faith...."



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Deception... A Lesson From Turkey Hunting

This morning The Good Lord blessed me with the opportunity to spend the morning in the woods hunting the ever elusive wild turkey. Alarm went off at 5:15 and at 5:35 the trek was on. After walking across the farm and not hearing a gobble one sounded off right where we had began... The chase was on. After arriving on the scene the birds were on the ground and sounding off... GOBBLE... GOBBLE.... Set up five yards in the woods off of a logging road with the Birds hammering up on the ridge. My dad was about 20 yards off to my right calling the birds in (he has "seductive love calling abilities"). After about 10 minutes of suspense I saw the birds walking down the ridge GOBBLE followed by a drumming sound. Stepped into an opening at about 40 yards and that was all she wrote. My biggest bird yet... 11 inch beard and 1.25 inch spurs. What a hunt!!!





There is a lesson to be learned from this hunt... The turkey was deceived. He believed that the yelping, clucking, purring, and scratching noises that he was hearing was a hen (female turkey). He believed that he was coming into a potential mate when in fact he was walking right into a trap, his death. He gave into the temptation of the calling and was trapped in the deception. Many times we too are just like this turkey, we are deceived by sin.

James 1:14-15 "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown brings death."You see sin works much in the same way as calling in the turkey does. It gets our attention, it attacks our desires. The turkey desired to mate so the calling was appealing to that desire. Sin attacks our desires, whether its lust, gluttony, stealing, cursing, cheating, or whatever it is the devil attacks. "It's alright," "Everyone is doing it," "No one will ever know," "You know you wanna do it," "It will feel so good," are just some of the calls of the devil. And when we give into these temptations we sin, and when we sin we become just like that turkey. We give into our desires, listen to the calls, and die because of our sin....

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Back to the Basics Boys

Just this past week here at the Peay we started our spring football practices. We geared up with three practices before out first scrimmage. Instead of simply picking up where we left off from last season we started with our base defense, went over our stance and starts, fine tuned our technique. We went back to the basics. Got back in touch with the little things, the important things, the things that make a difference when all else fails. Many times in the huddle I start the call with the simple phrase "Back to the Basics Boys...."

In the Book of Revelation Jesus tells the Church of Ephesus the same things. 2:4-5 "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works..." Jesus is saying you have left me, strayed away, turned your back on me, forgotten the most basic of things. You have left Me (Jesus), your first love. And like any love Jesus is not happy without us, he loves us so much that he wants us back. He provides simple instructions for us to come back, and its all about coming back to the basics.

First he asks us to remember from where we have fallen. He is saying look at where you were, what I was doing with you, what I was doing in you. Repent, the most fundamental of concepts for us as believers. Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." Why repent? Because we have fallen into sin, strayed away from the path that God has for us. We are told to the repent and do the first works.

What are the first works? Just like in football, the first works are the basics. For football players its tackling, catching, stance, technique, assingment, etc. For the believer its repentence, prayer, faith, love, etc. Do the first things first. Be restored unto God, ask for forgiveness and come back to the basics. You cannot instantly go back to where you were before. It takes time to restore and get back into the groove. In football when you start out you are never going to be as good as you were before. You are going to be rusty, after shaking the rust off you begin to improve and soar higher that you ever did before. The same holds true for Jesus. All we have to do is go Back to the Basics Boys...

Isiah 40:301 "But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More Flawed Thinking

I'm definitely no Rhodes Scholar, Albert Einstein, or Sheldon Cooper but I do believe I catch on to a few things. Although Anatomy class thoroughly confused me, I know for a fact this one thing, the brain is in the head and because of that the head is the most important. Every other body part has a function, some much much more important than others, but nothing trumps the brain. The big toe thinks he is important, but he doesn't make any decisions. He leaves that to the brain. The AC joint in the shoulder thinks he is important, but again he doesn't make any decisions. He leaves that to the brain. Each body part in the body is important to the body or it wouldn't be there, but each body part does nothing except for what the brain tells it to do.
 

The Bible makes it clear to us that as believers and members of the Church we are no different than the big toe or the AC joint. We are important to the function of the body, but not the decision makers. Colossians 1: 18 “And He (Christ) is the head of the body, the Church..." Going back to anatomy class if Jesus is the head of the body we can logically conclude that he is the Brain, the decision maker, the one who commands the rest of body. 1 Corinthians 12:27 "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually." This tells us that we are the body of Christ and serve as individual parts. As individual parts of a body we take orders from the head (Jesus). We do what the head tells us to do, not what we want to do or feel like we need to do. Unfortunately this is not how it works many times.

Many times we feel that we are in charge when in fact we are nothing more than the big toe. We feel that we are so important, too good to do the task that we are presented with, to follow the commands from the head. Instead we take what we know, what has been said as nothing more than a suggestion. We go off and do our own things. Imagine if the big toe told the brain he was not going to do what it was commanded to. That it decided that it was going to be in charge of breathing instead of balance and walking. Or if the lungs said guess what brain, I'm not dealing with oxygen today instead I'm going to hold things today. Our Body would be a wreck, it would die. There is no difference in the body of Christ. If each members decides to go their own way, do their own thing the body will die. To function properly each part has do to its own task. God places us where we are in his body because that is where we can best serve him. He has equipped us with everything we need to do the task that he has for us to do. All we simply have to do is trust in him, obey him, and go all our while we are doing that task.

We must realize that we are not more important that the head (Jesus). After all, he is the one who saved us. We need to realize that he designed us to be the part of the body that we are, nothing more and certainly nothing less. Remember, we are the body and the body doesn't work unless all of the parts are doing their task...

Check this Song Out
If We Are the Body

Monday, March 5, 2012

Flawed Thinking

Its late in the fourth quarter and your team has the ball... Instead of focusing on finishing the ballgame, focusing on winning they are focused on not losing. Their whole mindset is on not losing instead of winning, their way of thinking is flawed. Conseqently as the game comes to its closing seconds they commit a fatal error that costs them the game. This same mindset can be found in the mind of us today as believers, we are so focused on not sinning that it captivates our minds, demands our attention. As a result, we are caught, trapped by the sin that so easily snares us. Fortunately, the Bible offers a critical truth that helps drag us out of this mentality.

Colossians 3:2 states "Set your minds on things above, not on things of the earth." What does it mean to set our minds on things above? It means to set our eyes on Jesus, the eternal, and not on the things that we can gain on this earth. It takes our attention from the lusts of this world to the purity of the Cross. Takes us from the selfish pleasures of this life to the Joy and Peace that comes with seeking our Savior.

By setting our minds on things that are above, our eyes are opened to a new realm of pleasure. Instead of lusting we begin to love. Instead of hating our enemies we begin to pray for and love them. We begin to humble ourselves before Alpha and Omega instead of being filled with the pride that dragged us down before. It takes our minds off of trying not to sin and failing; to seeking the one and only God and forgetting about those sins. Our hearts will be so tuned into Christ that nothing else will even matter. We will pursue God with such passion and love that nothing will be able to come between us. He will captivate our minds, demand our attention, and fill us with peace and joy. Instead of focusing on not sinning, we will focus on God and the best He has for us.Setting our "Minds on things above" helps us to eliminate our Flawed Way of Thinking.....

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Friend of Sinners?

If most of us were to be honest we have a hard time admitting when were wrong. Why is that? Because we like to think of ourselves as being perfect, being incapable of committing any kind of sin or mistake. However, when someone else makes the same mistake we are quick to point it out and consequently judge them as a result. We feel that we are superior to that particular person in that moment and instead of showing them love we condem them. Instead of building them up we tear them down farther than they have already fallen. Instead of being their friend we become their greatest enemy. Afterall Jesus isn't a friend of sinners, right? WRONG!!!

In John 8: 1-12 we find an example of Jesus befriending a sinner. The scribes and Pharisees bring a woman who was caught in the act of adultry to Jesus and ask Him what is to be done to the woman. They ask if stoning the woman is the right thing to do in which Jesus replies in V. 7 "He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her." The people turn away one by one because each and every person that was there was a sinner except one, Jesus himself. Instead of picking up the stone he states in V. 11 "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."Jesus did not judge her, persecute her, tear her down, he built her up, showed her love, and presented to her and everyone else the way to life. V. 12 "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall no walk in darkness, but have the light of life.""

As believers many times we are quick to judge and condem those who fall into sin. Instead of following the example of Jesus, we follow the example of the world. Instead of remembering that we are sinners saved by the Grace of a savior (Romans 3:23-4), we see ourselves as being better than what we are, A SINNER, and begin to judge and condem. In this story Jesus makes it a point to remind everyone that they are all sinners V.7 and that the one that is without sin is the only one in position to judge of punish this woman. Even though Jesus had the right to throw the stond he did not, he showed her love, encouragement, support, and friendship. This is the example that we are to follow.... Jesus Friend of Sinners.

Jesus Friend of Sinners



P.S.
The life of Jesus was spent showing that he is a friend to sinners. Look no farther than the cross 2 Corinthians 5:21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him." He died to make us "SINNERS" like him "HOLY." He did not come to heal the "HEALTHY" but the "SICK." He did not come for just the "SAINT" but for the "SINNER" as well. Jesus is a friend to "ALL" and that includes "SINNERS." Let's follow the example of Jesus be a friend of sinners instead of casting stones.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Newness of Life

A batter swings at a pitch and hits a weak pop up in foul territory. The third baseman runs over, camps out under the ball, and calls everyone else over. The batter is dead, thinking that he is out he slowly walks to the dug out head down when the unthinkable happens. The third baseman misses the ball, the batter is safe, he has new life at the plate. He struts back to the batters box, confident in this new life that he has just received. Just like the batter here, in Christ we have a Newness of Life.

Before Christ we were wondering helpless through the world. Living on our own accord, head over heals in sin. We were both apart from and enemies of the One and only true God. However, he came and died upon a tree, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed," Isaiah 53: 5.By placing himself on the Cross, he provided a means for our salvation, a way that we could obtain a newness of life. All we simply have to do is place of Faith in Christ Jesus. I believe that the lyrics of the song "Glorious Day spell this out perfectly:

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
 Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day


Paul writes in Romans 6: 4 "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." 6:6 "Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin." What is newness of life? It is dying to your sin and walking in your relationship with Christ. It is no longer conforming yourselves to the world, but being transformed by a loving relationship with the one and only True God. It is understanding that without God we are nothing, and that the life we now live is to Honor and Glorify him.

We, like the batter in the beginning of this post do not deserve the new life that was given to us, but we were provided the opportunity to live in it, to walk in it. The new life is much better than the old life, it is a life of freedom, joy, and love. Go all out, live for the Lord, love like crazy, and walk in the Newness of Life.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Road Less Traveled

Many College Football Teams are entering the spring season with the same goal, bring home a National Championship. Afterall, this is the reason that we all play the game. However, many teams fall incredibly short of this goal. Why is that? I would be willing to bet they are not willing to take the road less traveled. They are not willing to put themselves beside and fully give themselves to the team. They are not committed to the hard work and dedication that it takes to become a champion. They walk on "Easy Street" where they never leave their comfort zone, never push themselves, and constantly wonder why success is never achieved.

The champion on the other hand understands the commitment that has to be made. He understands that they Team is greater than the Me. He goes all out, working harder than he has ever worked, pushing himself harder that he has ever pushed, preparing himself for everything that could come his way. He takes the road less traveled, the road that always leads to success.



Jesus says in Matthew 7: 13-24 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." What is Jesus saying here? Take the road less traveled. Like many football teams, most peoples goals is to make it to heaven. However, many take the road most traveled. Never leave their comfort zones, never go all out for Jesus. Instead they find their comfort in the world, its lusts, its desires, its passions. They follow the world like so many others down the broad path that leads to destruction.

To road that leads to life is both narrow and difficuly. Just like the champion, the believer must walk on the road less traveled. What is the road less traveled? It is simply following Jesus with no restraints. Its giving up your own desires pursuing God and the best that he has for you. It is understanding that God is most definately bigger that you, and submitting to him and his authority. Do it mean that this path is a funless obligation? Quite the opposite, Psalms 16:11 "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." The road that leads to life is full of joy and pleasure. A joy and pleasure that can only be found by taking a leap of faith, going all in, walking..... The Road Less Traveled.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Love Mile

Many times in life the one who goes the extra mile is the one who is successful. The individual who does more than what is required of them achieves extraoridinary success and pleasure. Many people in our society today are content and satisfied with simply being average, complacent with just scraping by doing the absolute bare minimum. They sell themselves short, never becoming all that they can be, never reaching their maximum potential.

Unfortunately, many Christians take this same mindset in regards to their faith. They wake up on Sunday, walk through the Church doors, and walk out never changed, challenged, or moved by their faith. They claim to believe, but "Even the demons believe... and tremble," James 2:19. They sell themselves short, just go to Church to feel better about themselves. They see Jesus as their Ticket to Heaven instead of their Savior from Hell. They do the bare minimum, believe, and according to the Bible "Even the demons believe. James 1:22 states "But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." This is a strong warning that being in Church, hearing the Word, being exposed to the word, believing the Word is not enough. Doing the Word is what is asked of us, is what God expects out of us, after we first have Believed.

In Matthew 5:41 Jesus states "Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two." Jesus himself taught that doing the bare minimum is not enough. Not only did he teach it, he lived it. Jesus lived on this earth in the flesh just like you and me, and through it all he remained perfect, sinless. However, just becoming perfect, following the Law completely, going the first Mile was not enough. It was in the second mile, Death on the Cross, the Love Mile, that brought us salvation. He didn't merely come here do be perfect, he came here to save us through death on the cross.

We too have the choice, the opportunity to go the second mile. Do become not only hearers, but doers of the Word of God. Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Believe God, crucify yourself unto Him, Live by faith, and let your faith guide you to God the Father, Spitit, and Son. Don't simply go through the motions, go all out. Go the Second Mile!