April 22, 2012 Comments Off on Wrong Well
John 4:1-26 (Woman at the well)
We believe that we have to hide our sin to be a christian, we believe that we have to hide our deficiencies – that we have to be perfect to be a christian. But we have to allow ourselves to expose our flaws and sins to Jesus to be healed.
There are so many of us that go to the wrong wells that we go to draw our source of happiness and life.We go to all the wrong wells to satisfy our thirst. 3 wells that we go to that are wrong:
- Well, I am not worthy. We ask God why He would even want someone want us, a sinner. We feel that we are unworthy of Gods love and that we can’t be of any use to His plan. However, when God lays out commands for our life we are supposed to follow. But sometimes we feel like God is asking too much of us and we will always fall short. But I don’t have it and God doesn’t need it- holiness is not what God wants from me, it’s what He wants for me. It’s why Jesus died. God doesn’t command me to live life His way to deprive me of what is good, He commands me to live a certain way to get something that is so much better. If we knew how much Jesus wanted to bless us, we wouldn’t be focused on how much we are missing out on when all of our friends are having sex and drinking. We do not know that plan that God has for our life. Do not ever think that anyone has ever done something great for God that hasn’t sacrificed an even greater cost for the cause of Jesus on this earth. God’s commands aren’t about what we wants from me, but for me. If you knew who God was, you wouldn’t have to fall into sin to be satisfied. We tell God what He can and cannot do in our lives, even though Jesus is Lord.
- Well, it’s too hard. We feel like we really want to change and live our life for God, but we think our situation is too hard to live the way God has called us to live. It’s time to stop going to the same source of your happiness. The source of true satisfaction is what Jesus wants to do inside of us. We think that if we get the right relationship, the right GPA, the right salary, but we will never be satisfied because it’s the wrong well. We feel like the pain is too much, like we can’t go on because our life is so devastating but we are neglecting to realize the reality of what was nailed to a cross two thousand and twelve years ago. We do not need what the world tries to tell us what we need to do, what we need to sacrifice because we have a spring of living water inside of us- we have a God that loves us more than anyone ever could. Even if we aren’t feeling loved from the person we love, we have a father in heaven that loves us. God calls us out of our sin, He doesn’t overlook it and pretend it’s not there. We have to let go and leave the other wells of our happiness for the spring of living water that Jesus offers us! We think that the next relationship is going to satisfy us, the next hookup, the next girlfriend and boyfriend will do for us will make us happy. But it will never satisfy our soul that we have so longed to satisfy for years of pain we have gone through. It’s not going to work.
- Well, not now. We want to live our college life, we want to live the wild life and we will get our act together later. Jesus doesn’t ask for a raincheck, the time is now. We are placed on the earth for a very specific reason- every day we have to live for God. God wants to clean us up where we are at, to show us off and use us because He loves us and made us. Jesus wants to change us not because He is ashamed of us, but because He wants to use us and show what He can do through the least of these.
We are all human beings and fall short of the glory of God. But the moment when we put our foot down and realize that Jesus is our source of happiness, love, and joy- we find a whole new level of our relationship with God.
April 10, 2012 Comments Off on Unchangeable Easter
“He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” -1 Corinthians 15:4
Easter was this past weekend, but I wanted to touch on an aspect of Easter that I believe gets left out. An important significance of 1 Corinthians 15:4 that isn’t mentioned a lot.
To me, Easter is about an unchangeable situation that everyone deemed was unchangeable. It couldn’t be reversed by the standard of the times, the Romans did everything they could to prevent anything from going in and out of the tomb of Jesus. They had soldiers sand guard and sealed the tomb with an enormous stone that weighed tons. To them and the rest of the world, it was a situation that was unchangeable- he was dead.
For you see, both Daniel (in the lions den) and Lazarus had stones rolled over where they were as well. It was a sign of the time that there was no way of getting out of the situation these people found themselves in- it was unchangeable to society.
But we all know that Jesus was resurrected, Daniel survived the night in the lions den, and Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. In all three situations, the stone that was supposed to have prevented anything BUT the original plan became a non factor.
Here’s the deal, throughout our life we are going to face situations that we deem would be unchangeable. We face immense trials and hardships that we believe will never end. Maybe it’s a illness, an immense financial crisis, a body image issue, a long drought of singleness without a spouse, or a divorce. All these situations seem unchangeable, we think that there is no way anything could possibly change, we believe that the circumstances cannot possibly ever support a change for the better.
But our unchangeable circumstance is no match for our unchanging God. Our Gods unchanging love, mercy, forgiveness, and freedom that He gives us everyday has far greater power than any of our circumstances. If we remember just how much He loves us and how awesome of a plan He has for our life, I think our “tomb” has a chance to be rolled away.
January 26, 2012 Comments Off on Where’s Your Meaning?
Meaning (noun): to have an intended purpose.
We are plagued by our past, we are shaken by our decision, but most of all we are afraid to let go of them. Before we know it, they have overcome us and it seems that there is no way out, and shame sets in day by day. We want to know “why”, but we can’t find any meaning in our situation. We are stuck with our past mistakes. For it seems that:
the past is worse than it was and we think of the future worse than it really is.
Enter the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-26). She finds herself in a terrible situation; confronted in a 1 on 1 situation with someone of a different ethnicity that is known far and wide to be more superior. To make it worse, Jesus ask’s her to give Him water. Perplexed, the woman asks why He would ask someone of far lesser class to give him water (it was believed that it would have defiled the water if a Samaritan woman gave a Jew water).
See, Jesus cares about every single one of us. According to the bible, we are all children of God once we believe in God. We are all children, we all have meaning to Jesus. We are all equal in Gods eyes, yet we still are afraid of our past. Our meaning is soon to be believed that we are worthless and forever slaves of our flesh and addictions.
Picking up where we left off, Jesus tells the woman that if she knew who He was, it would be she that would ask Him for water because the water Jesus offers her is eternal life. But here’s the best part of the whole story: Jesus already knows who she is, what she’s done, and the sins she has committed.
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
Jesus knows where we’ve been. Jesus knows that we are filthy, dirty, sinners even when we think we can hide it. Sometimes, when God reveals an opportunity or His presence in our life we feel unworthy because we feel like we have no meaning and we feel the need to try to hide who we think we truly are. But the Bible tells us that we have all fallen short of the glory of God and that God knows our yesterday, today, and tomorrow’s faults. God loves not because of who we are, but because of who God is.
What once seemed to be worse than it really is, Jesus makes: the past forgiven for what it was and the future brighter than it is, through His ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
December 25, 2011 Comments Off on His Presence > Our Presents
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” -Matthew 1:23
Christmas is more than just a time of giving, more than a time of a few days off of work, and more than a time to go to church. In fact, Christmas is much deeper than just remembering and honoring that Jesus was born to Mary- it’s more significant than that.
Not only is the birth of Jesus special because He became human, like us, but it represents Jesus is with us.
He is no longer this distant figure in Heaven, but is apart of our everyday life.
The promise of Christmas: His presence is greater than our presents.
The true beauty of Christmas is that you are a given a chance to live for something more. There is nothing that God cannot heal because it was the same hands that made the stars that took the nails in them just for you. Jesus came into the world, He came to us on Christmas. (Luke 1:28-30, Matthew 14:26-30, Psalm 23:4)
It takes a reaction to respond to an action, are you willing to react to what Jesus did for you? Are you willing to say “God be with me” because you can’t do this thing called life without God any longer? God doesn’t meet you halfway in your storm, but picks you up during the storm.
This Christmas remember that God has taken the first step towards you, He came down to earth over 2000 years ago, but are you willing to take the next step toward Him? God is with you even when you can’t see Him, because we must walk by faith and not by sight.
God is always with us, but are you with Him?
“23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
December 23, 2011 Comments Off on 3 Truths in 1
As I attended Elevation Church‘s Code Orange Christmas services this week and saw hundreds give their life to Christ, something struck me about seeing a certain young boy, probably about 10 years old, stand up to dedicate his life to Christ.
For most of us we overlook children as being able to comprehend things and understand what’s going on, but really they do understand and fully get it. However, there’s something bigger going on in this situation.
1) The truth knows no age, no sin, no requirement, but presents itself to the soul within. The truth, being that Jesus Christ came to die for our sins as the ultimate sacrifice and offers us eternal life as He is the son of God, comes to someone regardless of their age, young or old, and gives itself to anyone that is willing to hear it. Many people often times set up a barrier around their heart, they come into a situation because their preferences mean more to them then Gods presence. Often times, we come into a house of worship automatically turned off because it has too much lighting, not enough lighting, or they aren’t playing our favorite worship songs, but you have to remember it’s not about us. It’s about Him. Let go of your preference and enter into His presence.
2) The truth engages where we have been, where we are, and where we are going in our lives. No matter what is going on in your life in this moment, God has a part in it. The promises of God never forsaking you, of always loving you, and of protecting you against your enemies always was, is, and will be apart of your life forevermore if you are a christian.
3) We don’t base our faith on feelings, but on the truth. Our faith is never about what we are feeling for that day or any kind of feeling that can manipulated, it’s solely based on the truth of the gospel in the bible. When we allow ourselves to base our faith on feelings, we begin to enter into a constant downward and upward battle for how close we feel with God on a day to day basis. Instead, we should base our faith on what the bible tells us and what has already been promised about this lifetime- that God will always be with us.
December 22, 2011 Comments Off on Messy Message
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.” -2 Corinthians 4:7-11
Throughout our life we are constantly troubled with difficult circumstances; a job loss, a hurtful relationship, a divorce, an abusive childhood, or many other terrible circumstances. The hardest part of these circumstances is that it produces a sense of loneliness and despair in our lives that we do not normally have to deal with.
Whether it was a season of sexual, drug, or physical abuse, whether it was a time of defying God, or whether it was a time of being in a relationship that was the farthest thing from God we all have things that we regret about our life and wish we could do over.
However, I have found that it is our mess that God uses as our message as His messenger. Some biblical references of the truth of that statement is when Saul was transformed and dedicated his life to Christ as Paul, the woman at the well when Jesus reveals himself to her, the immense trials Job had to face, and many other lives Jesus changed.
Rest assured that the pain and suffering is worth knowing that God will be glorified throughout your life because of the trials you have and will overcome.
Live a life of freedom in Christ because He will hold you up. Know that you can withstand anything that comes against you because God wants to use these very things to be glorified.
No matter just how bad your situation may seem, no matter how far away from God you feel at this moment, He has the power to draw you in and make you clean again- but only if you are willing to believe that He can.
You will be beaten down by life, but never defeated. Find purpose in these difficult seasons of your life and know that God wants to use your mess as your message to others, so that He may be glorified.
December 5, 2011 Comments Off on Fearful Life
I have come to the conclusion that so many of us (myself included) are living our life in fear of:
- Relationships– We don’t want our feelings and heart to be hurt again
- Finances– We are overwhelmed by future payments and past expenses
- Knowledge– We are ashamed and embarrassed of our actions in the past- hoping nobody ever finds out.
- People– We are scared of what someone could do to us, what people think of us, and scared of being left out.
- Death– We don’t know what eternity will be like, we aren’t sure about our eternal destination
- Responsibilities– Our job demands so much of our time, getting fired, or letting someone down.
- Loneliness– We are committed to doing whatever it takes to get someone to notice us and keep them close.
But did you know that the one thing we so often times forget to fear is the one thing that controls the very things we fear? God.
We live our life concentrated so much on fearing the evil that comes against us that we forget to fear who God is. God is a loving and powerful God that deserves to be fearfully respected, not feared because He will squash you like a bug. Gods goodness, grace, and mercy is there for all who will receive it and believe Him, but we take it for granted so many times.
We fear the created rather than the Creator.
If you are in this same situation of feeling overwhelmed and fearful of so many things, you aren’t alone. In fact, God knew that it was in our human nature to fear different things.
But remember fear is an emotion, not a lifestyle.
Look at all the bible verses that remind us of Gods constant reminder not to fear because He is with us and loves us:
“Do not be afraid”
1 Samuel 4:20
1 Samuel 22:23
1 Samuel 23:17
1 Samuel 28:13
2 Kings 1:15
2 Kings 19:6
2 Kings 25:24
Jeremiah 42:11 (2 times)
“Do not fear”
Judges 6:10 (You shall not fear the gods of the Amorites…)
1 Samuel 12:20
2 Samuel 9:7
2 Samuel 13:28
1 Kings 17:13
2 Kings 6:16
2 Kings 17:35 (You shall not fear other gods, nor bow…)
2 Kings 17:37
2 Kings 17:38
1 Chronicles 22:13
1 Chronicles 28:200
2 Chronicles 20:15
2 Chronicles 20:17
2 Chronicles 32:7
Nehemiah 4:14 (Do not be afraid…)
Job 21:9 (Their houses are safe from fear..)
Psalm 78:53 (He led them to safety so they did not fear)
Isaiah 54:14?? (you will be far from oppression, for you will not fear..)
John 14:27 (Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful)
1 Peter 3:14 (Do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled,