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.
October 11, 2011 Comments Off on No More Aquariums
What does an aquarium really do for a fish? It provides a safe, secure, clean, and effortless place to thrive and live amongst the other fish. Providing no predators, no uncharted areas to explore, or concern to the fish – besides swimming around and looking pretty for everyone watching them.
For so many people today, you manage your own aquarium of your faith. You surround yourself with the same people, same small group, same weekly routine of showing up. You like the idea of keeping things the way they are, just trying to keep the aquarium running, and playing a game of religion rather than faith in Christ.
Jesus called us to be fishers of men, not keepers of the aquarium.
Our faith can only grow to a certain extent when all we do is surround ourself with like-minded people. Think about Jesus, our leader, He put himself out into the streets with the common people. Jesus had so much compassion for anyone that was willing to hear and receive the truth. There was no qualification to hear Jesus speak or to have a conversation with Him.
Yes, it is important to have a good core, supporting group of people around you. But it is not biblical to thrive only in that group and only encourage and build up those members. That’s called being selfish. Church world likes to tell us that the church is the only place we can thrive, only place that we should invest in. We are called to have our part in the body of believers, but to advance the kingdom and pour out our heart on those that are the exact opposite.
The truth of the matter is: the people that you judge and think are bellow you because they don’t go to the same church as you, same campus ministry, or even same religion are the people you should be spending the most time around.
To be a true fisher of man, you must allow yourself to be vulnerable to the people that need to hear the truth and love that Jesus has in store for their life. Jesus invested in the most diseased and social outcasts of his time, not just his disciples. Jesus spent time around his disciples to empower them to go out and be fishers of men, not be an exclusive judging group of men.
You have to be willing to elevate them above yourself: Jesus never condemned anyone, rather offered them something greater than what they had – eternal life and love.
October 9, 2011 Comments Off on Time to Fill Up
Did you know that if you sit on an incline long enough your gas meter will magically go to empty without even going anywhere? The gas in the tank shifts to the empty part of the tank where the meter cannot read it. It’s true and it happened to me this past week.
Truth is, this is more than just a gas problem- it’s a spiritual one. We sit in a difficult place for long enough and we feel like God has abandoned us, feel like we’re empty inside, and that God has forsaken us.
You’ve got to realize that you’re just on a hill, not in danger of losing your faith. More times than not, we begin to believe that God has left us because we can’t see over the hill we’re on. We’re on “E” and can’t make it any further.
We let the elevation of our situation determine how far we think we’re going to go, rather than letting the elevation of our God take us to where we need to go.
Here’s the point: When you’re half full your are in danger of truly believing that you’re empty when you’re on a hill. However, when your tank is full, the gravity of the situation cannot manipulate the meter- full is full, no matter the incline.
It’s time to stop filling your life with everything but God- it’s time for you to receive the fullness of Gods love, mercy, joy, kindness, and peace. God never said He wasn’t going to put you in a in-climate situation, but He did promise He would never put you somewhere He couldn’t overcome for you.
It’s time to fill up, it’s time to embrace who you are and take on the vision God wants to give you for your life. It’s time to fill up on Gods joy and leave in a way that glorifies our King. You are chosen for more, chosen for greater -all you have to do is fill up on the right thing, God.
August 29, 2011 Comments Off on Singles Anonymous
“But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” (Proverbs 1:33)
The most important decision you will ever make in your life are the relationships that you allow to be in your life and the relationships you choose to take out of your life.
I guess I have such a big heart for the people that are struggling with being single right now because I have that same burden. For the people that can’t see the purpose, but can only remember that past scars and wounds that was created in your heart because of what He or She did to you.
Here’s the thing: Your ability to be single proves your ability to be in a relationship. Are you willing to put your faith in God and take a leap of faith in trusting Him with your singleness or are you constantly searching for the next relationship to fill the void of loneliness?
Learn to be secure in this season of loneliness, learn to trust God with your happiness, love, and feelings about yourself because people are going to let you down- I promise. The people that are going to be the greatest leaders and most impactful spouses in their future relationships aren’t the ones that can satisfy their loneliness by producing a date every night, but that can embrace their singleness and love on God regardless.
You carry so many burdens of past relationships and past hurts, never knowing how you’re ever going to be able to let go. You have to understand that those feelings of hurt, disparity, pain, and betrayal were set plans from the Devil to destroy your future. That abusive, destructive relationship was a plan from hell trying to destroy you. The Devil is so great at trying to distract us with things that we think are important to keep us from the things we know in our hearts are important: God.
That pain is real, those thoughts that haunt you are even more real, but they are eating you away; destroying your purpose in life. If the Devil can’t get you to deny Christ, He’s going to go after your life: mind, body, spirit.
Live in these promises…
Even though it may seem like the greatest men and women are taken, God has someone special just for me. And even that person doesn’t exist, God’s love is more than enough for me because He was willing to die specifically for me to be able to spend eternity together.
There is nobody I don’t deserve, no matter what sin I have committed. There is no such thing as a hierarchy of X amount of sins qualifies me for Y amount of goodness in someone. You are a child of the King, you deserve the best.
Even though no man or woman may find me attractive, I am still willing to run after Gods calling on my life.
Gods opinion of me matters more than anyone else. My boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t have the power to determine whether or not I enter into Heaven, nor would He ever love me enough to go through the pain Jesus went through.
God is going to captivate my heart with the right feelings at the right time for the right person. I cannot force any relationship because I cannot write my own destiny.
August 23, 2011 Comments Off on I love you, God
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5)
So it hit me the other day, when was the last time I told God I loved Him? I thank Him everyday for covering my sin, for blessing me with friends in my life, for giving me a great family, or for allowing me to attend a great school, but when was the last time I ever said “I love you”?
I didn’t know.
We try to love God the way we think He should be loved rather than the way He deserves to be loved. We think that just being thankful is enough love for God. Maybe occasionally dropping a few dollars in the offering plate will suffice. We have this common myth that God can use the other people; pastors, worship leaders, teachers, or rich people to do the work of His kingdom.
God loves you for you, He loves you specifically, He died just for you! The bible tells us “We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:9-10. God loved us before we even knew who He was. Why? Because He see’s infinitely more potential in our life and ability to love Him and others than we do ourselves.
God is a jealous God, He wants all of our love. “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God” Exodus 20:4-5. God telling us He is jealous isn’t because He is a cruel God, but because He wants us to know He has feelings too. He wants us to love Him as much as He loves us.
Love on God. Treat Him the way He deserves to be treated- the Creator of The Universe.
July 28, 2011 Comments Off on Next Best
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:10-11
My cell phone contract comes up in September and I am so excited to finally get caught up with technology. I feel like my phone lags in technology, has less features than others, and is much slower; better yet, I am ready to have the next best phone than what I currently have.
So what if your life was like a cell phone contract? Would you upgrade to the next greatest life-style or would you stick with what you’ve got because it’s easy to use? What if I told you that you only had to make one upgrade for the rest of your life and you’d have the greatest features, most advanced knowledge, and happiest moments?
Would you do it?
Our society is obsessed with always looking ahead to the next greatest pay raise, car, job, age, relationship, or popularity? Well guess what, if you spend your entire life always yearning for the next greatest thing your life is going to pass you by. One day you’re going to realize you’re sitting on your death bed, wondering where all the time went.
I truly and fully believe that in the year 2011 we are living in a movement of God, but you are too busy waiting to graduate, get married, or start making real money to ever be effective for the Kingdom.
The next greatest thing to take your life from good to great isn’t ahead of you, it’s behind you: Jesus died on the cross over 2,000 years ago. And to this day, and forever more, will be the ultimate upgrade; better than anything money can buy, better than any pleasure you can feel, or income bracket.
Each and every person is eligible for a free upgrade, you don’t have to wait for 2 months to roll by like I do waiting for my next phone. Jesus wants to take everything that comes with you and completely upgrade your life. This a free offer for a lifetime filled with trials, blessings in disguise, and a rebate offer that is good for eternal life with a loving God that loves you for who you are.
He overcame everything the world has to offer you, He overcame the penalties of the sins you should be facing, and He overcame every negative feeling you have about yourself.
Stop looking for the next best thing in your life, it’s sitting right in front of you. Jesus.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
Today’s trouble is enough for today.”