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.
September 13, 2011 Comments Off on Mythbusters (Pt. 2)
In my opinion, these are the 7 greatest myths about God, the bible, and christianity facing people today. (Part 2: 4-7)
4. My goal on earth is to survive the world. We are not called to survive this world, but to change this world. The devil leads us to believe that we are merely meant to just survive our trials, survive this lifetime to finally enjoy God in Heaven. While that is partially true, we are never called to survive anything, but to divide and conquer for the Kingdom. Jesus didn’t die for ALL of your sins in hopes that you would survive the world. If He just wanted you to survive then He didn’t even need to lay His life down. Each and every single person is called to something greater, called to a bigger purpose to change the world. It is your uniqueness that makes you powerful, your ability to conquer trials and share your experiences- not just lay them aside and hope to forget them one day. People are going to fail you, but your faith never will. Stand and deliver for The Kingdom. Be the change.
5. I should listen to every piece of advice and criticism I receive (Prov. 13:20-21). Even though someone may tell you that you are wrong or stupid, if God is telling you He wants it done THEY are wrong- God is always right. Not everyone is going to agree with you, you are going to face resistance from even other christians because they are insecure in their faith and don’t like the idea that you’ve found your calling and they haven’t. Hold firm in the promises God has made you and let Him be your friend and walk by your side. Right voices equal right choices. We listen to idiots, some of your friends are stupid. You will listen to you friends while you ignore your parents- we don’t listen to the people that love us the most. We listen to someone that doesn’t know a thing about our life, one little decision we let them manipulate us into causes us to spend years trying to put our life back into order. We listen to the ones that can gain us the most popularity, not the most prosperity in our faith. You are special, no matter what anyone has ever told you- you matter as a person created in Gods image. Apart from God we are doomed for hell, but with Him we are destined for an eternity glorifying Him with no sorrow, tears, or pain.
6. My parents are divorced, I am doomed to have my heart broken too, so I should shut people out. If you stay close enough to Jesus, He will lift you up every time. We think great people don’t fall, but in reality they fall more than we do, but they know to get back up and show up time and time again. That tragedy of divorce is becoming more and more evident in todays culture more than ever, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be the next statistic. Yes, that happened to your parents, but it does NOT have to happen to you. The only person you have control over is yourself, you cannot control anyone elses life but your own. Through your parents divorce, you will learn what it means to fight for a relationship, to take down the barriers and to trust someone. The longer you wall up your heart, the longer it’s going to take that special person to take them down. Position yourself in a way to let God free you from this attitude and them to heal you. You cannot look to men and women to be your savior, there is no one capable but Jesus Christ who has the power to calm the storms and make the mountains move. They don’t control your destiny, He does. The longer you date and sleep around trying to heal and look for a solution to your painful problem, the more pain you’re going to cause yourself. Jesus can heal you.
7. I have to be a worship leader, author, or preacher to have an impact in ministry. We spend so much time trying to be like everyone else that we miss the uniqueness in our own life and the gifts God has given us. God has called you to do something or to be somebody special at a special place in a special time. Some people are called to be a doctor for the less privileged, to be a CEO of XYZ corporation that can donate millions of dollars to churches and charities, or maybe even an engineer that will design buildings or technology for people far from God to be filled with life in Christ. For so many of us, we know what God has already called us to be but we are too afraid to embrace the reality of the career God wants us to get on track with because it’s not one with a big house, 6 digit paycheck, or loads of vacation time. It’s not about our life to live, but ours to give to the one that gave us EVERYTHING.
June 27, 2011 Comments Off on Death Sentence
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”” -John 11:25-26
Each and everyone of us has an appointed time, place, day, and means that we are all going to die. It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve made or how far you can try to run away, you are going to die and every single human being will go before God.
It doesn’t matter the age you are or the clothes you wear. Romans 14:8 says “If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” However I think it applies that if you aren’t living for the Lord, you are going to die to the devil.
If you truly think about it, it’s wild. You are going to die, everything that you ever lived for. cried over, purchased, and loved will not matter- the only thing that matters is what have you done for God.
“A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.” – Ecc 7:1
But for many it will be worse than anything they have ever experienced. The moment of realizing that all those crazy christians were right, God is real and you can’t relive your life. The moment you die you are going to be ushered into judgement before God and given a sentence of eternal life or eternal pain in hell.
“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” —2 Thessalonians 1:9
Can you imagine what it would feel like to be in a place completely separated from God- forever? Can you imagine the pain and guilt you would feel for not believing? Calling out, screaming out God’s name and asking for forgiveness and nothing would ever come to you- ever?
While Hell isn’t vividly described in the bible, bits and pieces are given to us:
- “fire cannot be quenched” – (Mk.9:48)
- “weeping / gnashing of teeth” – (Mt.25:30)
- ” tormented in this flame” – (Luke 16:24)
- “danger of hell fire” – (Matt 5:22)
As a christian you have one chance, one lifetime to make a difference. You have the opportunity to give God everything you’ve got and allow yourself to be used to help spread the good news that people don’t have to go to hell.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6
If you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and died for your sins, then you have the green-light to start working for God right now. You never need to asks anyone else’s permission to do something for God, other than God himself. People are going to tell you it’s stupid, that someone else can do it, or that you can’t do it yourself. The clock is ticking and the time to rise up is now, we have got to make a difference in this world right now! No matter how old or how young you are, God wants to use you right now.