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

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."