November 2, 2011 Comments Off on All Things, All Possibilites
“19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” -Corinthians 9:19-23
Freedom from sin is not an excuse for self indulgence, but a means of greater intelligence to reach others for Christ. Paul became all things, to all people to further his evangelism. Paul cared so much about Christ that he even lived under jewish customs, despite not being jewish. What are you holding back?
Paul understood the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He understood he had the ability to become all things because Jesus has conquered all things. I think so often times we are afraid to reach the people that need Christs love the most because we are afraid that relating to them would somehow make our reputation and status lesser.
But understand this, your opinion of what others think of you cannot out-weigh what God thinks of you.
Paul is an excellent example of turning his entire life over to Christ because he held nothing back – even the way he lived his day, what he ate and what he drank was adaptable to whoever he was around. Historians also noted that Paul would even drink an alcoholic drink in geographic areas that mandated that part of their social customs to be more approachable by others.
Let us give honor and service to Jesus in all of our life, not just the obvious. You may have gone through a traumatic physical disability, maybe you lost your virginity at a young age, maybe your sibling is mentally handicapped. Whatever your situtation may be, God allowed these specific events to occur for many reasons, but I believe the greatest is that you may be able to relate to someone else in a unique way than the next. What happened has happened, you can only use these difficult situations to further the gospel.
Become all things to all people because Jesus died for all sins for all people.
October 16, 2011 Comments Off on Come as You Are
40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:40-43
Did you know there is absolutely no qualifications or level of deeds required to be a christian? None. Yet, we still get so down on ourselves for feeling like we let God down – feeling like we lost our faith because we’re not good enough to stay on track with what the bible says.
There are those of us that live our life not living in the joy and peace of Jesus. We aren’t saved by Jesus and have no intention on doing so because we could never be good enough to ever enter a church. We feel outcasted because of our past, so we forget our future. It’s like our one wrong decision has stamped us as a failure for the rest of our life and we can’t seem to escape it.
However, you are missing the point, the true amazing love that Christ has shown us and is offering all of us today:
Jesus accepts you for who you are, no matter your circumstance or resume, but He doesn’t plan to leave you as you are. We serve a come as you are God, not because He’s that desperate for our attention or that lonely, but because He loves you that much.
Exactly like the thief on the cross in Luke 23, Jesus doesn’t care what you did in your past – He didn’t even care why the thief was hanging there. Jesus doesn’t want to know where you’ve been, but where you plan on going. The thief believed that Jesus was Lord of all by asking Him to remember him in Heaven.
Come as you are to Jesus this very day. Start at the cross and let the thief be a constant reminder that Jesus loves you just as you are and wants to spend eternity with you because He loves you that much.
October 5, 2011 Comments Off on Why Sex?
Research shows that every 39 minutes, a new pornographic movie is made. Every second $3,075 dollars is spent on pornography. With a mind blowing worldwide revenue of $97.06 billion in 2006. The iraq war is costing us on average of $9 billion per month, meaning we can go to war for 10 months and still have $7.06 billion left over with the amount of money we spent on porn in 2006. Oh and just a side note, the statistics show that women are just as active as men in buying porn.
Why? Why is so much money spent? Why is sexual pleasure such a sought after thing?
Sex was created to create life, to bond 1 man and 1 woman together through marriage – never to be the top grossing industry for anyone to see and find pleasure in. Demographic statistics show that the most popular segment in age is 18 and younger.
Man and woman were created to co-exist, to enjoy each others company- read Genesis. Sin entered the world and became attractive to Eve because the devil made her believe that God would never find out, that God didn’t know what was best for her.
Sin has a viscous cycle of taking your interest in something and turning it into your slave. Sin encapsulates and destroys your heart and your mind, leaving you with degraded thoughts and feelings about yourself. God does know what’s best for us because He was the one that created us. We believe that God doesn’t want us to enjoy our life, to enjoy pleasure – which is totally false, God wants us to enjoy the pleasure of finding love, belonging, and purpose in Him. Not ourselves.
If this is you today, you do not have to be a slave for any longer. God has the power to forgive and purify your mind, but it cannot be simply fixed through just prayer. Sexual sin is more than repentance, it takes outward changes to fix the inward disease inside you, known as sexual sin. Find an accountability partner, someone that you can be transparent with!
This is an epidemic and if my generation doesn’t put a stop to this, we are going to go into poverty over sex. It’s far time for a generation to rise up that is willing to put a stop to this, to give a solution to this sexual slavery. The root of the problem isn’t so much that sex feels good, but that it creates a sense of belonging for the participant. Sin has the power to strip you of joy, to become an infectious disease in your life and grow into an addiction and slave driver – controlling your thoughts and actions.
As human beings we long to belong to something, we long to be feel accepted and apart of more than ourselves. We long to feel special, that someone actually cares about us and finds something about us attractive. If this is you today, choose to belong to God. God will never take advantage of you, nor will He take away your happiness, but will reimburse you with an eternal joy and belonging in Heaven. It’s never too late to come to God, nor is there a sin too great to repent of or ask forgiveness for.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13
September 11, 2011 Comments Off on Anchor Me
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:1-4
If you’re like me, you love the outdoors. I especially enjoy fishing and being out on the water. After spending numerous hours in the boat I realized that the most important thing you can have on a boat is the anchor.
If the boat doesn’t have an anchor, the boat is at the mercy of the waves and the wind…Which is not good for all of you that have been on a boat. Having a strong enough anchor may seem like an added weight on your boat, but is the most important item to have in your boat.
For so many people today, we look at the bible at the standard for our way of life. Which is totally great, but for so many of those same people we look at what the bible tells us as a burden rather than an anchor.
Jesus is our ultimate anchor, chained by the word of God. Jesus wants to anchor our life in truth, love, and compassion– not be a burden. But for some of us, we don’t desire to be anchored down. We live our life floating around, aimlessly ending up wherever the waves will take us. We don’t care because we hurt by our lives, fully jealous of the people that seem to have it together- jealous of the people that are on the stage.
We waste our days trying to get rid of the pain in our hearts. We live our present trying to defeat our past- floating our life away.
The only thing that can ever defeat your past in Jesus. The only thing that you can trust to always be there and love you is Jesus. The only thing that can save you from eternal suffering in Hell is Jesus.
Trust Jesus. Let him anchor your life in where you’re at right now, not float away. Start caring about your life and live in the truth that Jesus is more powerful than your problem and can stop everything around you- He can anchor your life. It’s about time you anchor your eternity in Heaven.
August 4, 2011 Comments Off on I thank God Because…
- He took the punishment I deserved.
- He tells me He loves me everyday, even when I’m not faithful.
- He promises me a new, fresh 24 everyday.
- He enables me to live in peace and strength knowing my past is forgiven.
- He prepares a permanent place for me in Heaven.
- His love never fails, never changes, and never runs out.
- He isn’t interested in where I’ve been, but where I am going.
- He isn’t a system of frequent flyer points, He loves me the same today as tomorrow.
- He isn’t just for the perfect people, He hung out with the imperfect people first.
- He created me for a specific purpose.
- He has given me the opportunity for salvation for free.
- He sees infinitely more in me than I see in myself.
July 21, 2011 Comments Off on To Whom It May Concern
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. (Psalm 27: 1, 3)
So, I never done this before…But I am writing 2 blog posts today. I feel like somebody needs to the read this and I pray that if you’re who I am writing for that you would know God loves you and to hang in there. God called me to write this for you, so here we go:
Whoever you are, I want you to know that God loves you. Sometimes in our life, we feel like everything goes wrong because it’s our fault. You feel like you messed up so badly that everything is your fault, that the reason your family is falling apart is because you messed up- because you came into the world. I want you to know, that’s a lie.
You feel like this God thing is real, but it seems to be for people with perfect lives and perfect families. That’s not true either. Some of the greatest people that God ever used in the bible were murderers and prostitutes.
I want you to know, you’re right where you need to be. God wants to use this painful time and situation in your life to be a world changer. Don’t you dare give up. If you’re not willing to go through pain, then you’re not ready for God to use you.
God prepares His greatest people with the greatest trials because He wants them to be willing to withstand hell when it comes against you. Place your hope that you have a greater calling tonight and don’t be defeated by this time in your life.
I am sorry things happened the way they were, but we were never created to live for Earth. For christians, Earth is our living hell because it will only get better as we reign with Christ.
The greatest times in your life, your greatest potential, isn’t behind you it’s ahead of you. Don’t give up. God is going to see you through, don’t let this time of pain and depression bog you down. When you’re feeling depressed, read your bible. If you fully believe in what Jesus did for you on the cross, then you can live in the promises to never fear, to never be depressed, to never wonder what terror tomorrow holds because Your Healer is going to see you through tonight, tomorrow, and 10 years from now.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his son is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42: 5,8)
Sometimes you have to worship through the pain to get to the gain. When all hope is lost and you feel like your walls are closing in, you have to worship God. Worship through it because joy comes in the morning.
Hang in there! You’re almost there.
July 3, 2011 § 3 Comments
Background: Yesterday, I spent my entire day working at Elevation church with our children’s ministry, ekidz. Our task: manage, hype up, babysit, dance along side, sing with, and encourage over 30 kids to do the worship for church every service on stage. This was no small task, Elevation averages around 1,000 attendees every service and we were put front and center.
So what could I have possibly learned? Well, a lot. These kids, ages 1st to 5th grade, totally get the concept of faith; totally understand what it means to have a relationship with Christ.
If kids aren’t able to grasp christianity, then none of us certainty would. Why? Because children merely exist everyday to exist; they don’t live to pay the bills, worry about their marriage, go on crazy diets because they think they’re over weight, or have deep depression because they can’t seem to find a boyfriend or girlfriend.
The photo I used for this blog is of the volunteers and I after our last service when we finally realized we were done. But reflecting on this day, the highlight wasn’t the fact of being on stage at Elevation Church, getting to stand next to Chris Brown, or feeling like a rockstar, but rather learning from these kids.
The bible tells us this in Mark 9:42…
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Jesus tells of such harsh circumstances because children embrace faith because they understand it and don’t have enough life experience to have barriers between them and God- excuses as to why God doesn’t love them or a desire to run after worldly desires. If you cause a child to sin, you are ruining the purest of faith.
So take a step back and evaluate what is keeping you from having child-like faith? What are the things in your life that you are allowing to lead you astray from 100% committing to a relationship with Christ and leaning on Gods understanding?
Are you scared of letting go of your life and turning it over to God? If a child, that is scared of things in this world that you would chuckle at, isn’t afraid to stand up in front of thousands of people to worship God…I don’t know what’s keeping you from turning to Christ.
Having child-like faith isn’t something you mature out of, it’s in fact the ultimate sign of maturity in Christ. Fully believing God, fully letting go of the circumstances in your life, and fully letting the joy of Christ fill your heart. They apply the concept of their walk that they learn and don’t think anything about it. Pray everyday before the eat and listen when someone is speaking, not checking facebook on their phones.
“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” -Matthew 18:2-6