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.
September 19, 2011 Comments Off on Not So Far
25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land.” 26 But Moses said, “That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the LORD our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, as he commands us.”28 Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me.”
There are instances in our life that on the surface seem good, but end up not being close to what God wants from us.
Moses had been asking Pharaoh for days to be able to offer sacrifices to God, finally Pharaoh agrees but under one condition – that they wouldn’t leave Egypt.
So why does that matter? Moses and Aaron were still going to get to sacrifice to God…Only problem, God didn’t want them to offer sacrifices around the Egyptians. What seemed like a good decision, would have been absolutely awful for Moses and Aaron.
What are the things in your life that are seemingly good, fun, or easy that are actually hurting you in the end? The devil likes to disguise his ways by giving us seemingly good things with faith-killing outcomes.
After so many lonely nights, a cute guy actually came up and talked to you after your campus ministry. He seems nice, even says He believes in God, but is secretly planning to use and abuse you. An attractive girl that puts bible verses all over her status’s seems to not be afraid to show what she believes in, problem is she could care less about her parents and plans to drag you down with her.
The bible tells us to guard our heart for a reason. The devil isn’t afraid to give us great opportunities as long as he can keep his leash on us. And God isn’t going to stop him either, God likes to see just how much we can trust Him and put our faith in His directions rather than our own. We aren’t expected to see the wolf in sheeps clothing from afar, but are expected to run at the first sight of teeth…Not wait around to see if they’re sharp or not.
Pharaoh wasn’t afraid to let Moses and Aaron sacrifice to God as long as they did it in Egypt on his circumstances.
Stand firm in your faith, know that God has a plan for you. You don’t have to settle for average or less than because God has so much more planned for you, even when you can’t see it.
August 18, 2011 Comments Off on Damaged Goods
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 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.” John 4:1-18
There are times in life when we all make mistakes, we all fall, we all fail God. We’re human.
For some of us, we cary the burden of losing our virginity- losing our sense of purity and self worth. We carry the burden and sorrow of feeling our damaged goods.
You feel empty, selfless, and a desire to feel the void in your broken purity with someone/something else. You crave the feeling of belonging again, but are ushered into the sounds and images as tears stream down your face. You can’t understand it, can’t understand why he would do such a thing and walk away. The lights go out, the tears come out. Alone. Broken. Dejected. Hurt. Ashamed. Forgotten. Broke.
You beg for forgiveness from God, shed tears in church as the Pastor condemns the sexually impure; now fully accepting your new stereotype. You avoid conversations with your parents, friends, anything to do with relationships in fear of shedding tears.
The pain sets in, the devil beats you down with reminder after reminder after reminder of how pitiful you are and what an enemy of God you now are- that you will never go to heaven. Convincing you that You were never a christian.
….Silence sets in. The crack of the whip peals the flesh off, the blood burns his back, the dehydration causing the lips to blister…Nails pierced through his hands, only stopped by the bone before the soldier nails them through the bone, his feet broken from the stakes driven through his ankles. He stands, nailed to a blistery piece of a wood, hardly a body even recognizable as human. Crowned with thorns torn into his skull, spat upon, bruised, dying of agony. The Son of Man nailed to a cross, feeling forsaken by the creator of the universe, feeling broken. Alone. Forsaken. Hurt. Forgotten. Dejected.
By his stripes you are healed. By his stripes you are pure again. By his stripes you know you are loved. By his stripes you know He will remember you in heaven. By his stripes your sin is paid for, in full!
You will never be able to go back in time, what’s done is done. But there is no sin that the cross did not cover. You can never reverse that moment in time, but Jesus can give you your purity back. Just a simple touch can accomplish more than you would ever earn in an entire lifetime. All you have to do is believe.
In the opening verse I used about Jesus and the woman at the well, even Jesus still used the woman that had over 6 husbands (never married) to be apart of His ministry. He still offered her salvation, eternal life.
Next time you are remembering your impurity, remember what has already been done for you. Remember that God loves you, always. Remember that you will fail, endlessly, for the rest of your life but that’s ok because that’s why Jesus died for you. God is good all the time and will never leave you alone.
August 5, 2011 Comments Off on The Abuse
“Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.” Psalm 12:5
Sometimes we feel trapped in a situation. Trapped inside a relationship, trapped inside a lifestyle, addiction, or bad habit Trapped inside an endless cycle that seems so endless that we just stop caring and give into the situation as being apart of our life.
But there is truth that you need to know: You don’t have to take the abuse, it’s your time to make something of your life. The choice is yours today to leave this difficult time in your life, to get away from the pain that you are allowing yourself to go through.
See, we hear the word “abuse” and instantly turn our nose up because we don’t want to accept the reality of our life.
Sometimes, we cause ourself to go through abuse. We abuse ourselves by believing that what we see is as good as it is going to get. We believe that this ungodly, drama filled relationship is as good as it is going to get for our life because it’s the way it has always been our life.
We fool ourselves into believing and accepting lies as truth, we begin to live with a chip on our shoulder believing that self pity is the best way to cope with our issues.
Our lives are built around trying to numb the pain of disappointments out of life. Believing that we don’t fit into the common mold of popularity, endlessly trying to buy the next greatest clothes or fastest car to be accepted.
We label ourselves as failures, dropouts, antisocial, unattractive, fat, ugly, or dirty.
BUT: You don’t have to take the abuse, it’s your time to rise up and change your reality. God has called you to be something greater, He has overcome the failure in your life and replaced it with magnificent splendor that can out-shine all darkness in you.
Jesus didn’t die to give the good people a better place, He died because we have all fallen short of the glory of God. We all need forgiveness, we all need a new beginning.
You are a chosen child of God, start living like it. God is giving you chances to shine for Him, to change the world, but you are wasting them away because you are too caught up in what you perceive yourself to be!