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.
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 7, 2011 Comments Off on Connect Back, Connect Forward
For many of us today, it is our future that gives us the most trouble and long, sleepless nights. Wondering who or if we are going to get married, what our major will be, what to do after graduating, what retirement will look like, or how we’re going to pay the future bills piling ahead.
But before you can undertake your future, you must understand your past. Before you can take on what is ahead, you must put away what is behind you.
For so many of us, we allow past memories, experiences, and regrets shape our future goals and aspirations. Honestly, we let the past dictate how effective we think we can be in the future because we are scared to trust again, scared to love again, scared to take a leap of faith.
If your future seems overwhelming to you, I want you to remember this principle:
I can connect back to connect forward.
Connect your life dots backwards, remember where God has brought you from. Remember that even though it seemed terrifying at the time, God brought you through that difficult time into a greater meaning or understanding for your life. This idea isn’t just a blog post, but is a biblical example. Think about the Israelites, they were delivered from bondage but never connected back when they were in the wilderness and allowed their present trouble to ruin the promises God had for them.
Though the future may seem scary, though you may not know if this next date on friday will be your last, though you may feel like quitting, or you may not know what you want to major in – God does, God knows. Trust in Him, remember the faithfulness and goodness He has been in your past to propel you into your future.
October 3, 2011 Comments Off on Past Joy, Present Waste
Do you ever remember what presents you were given for your 1st birthday? How about your 3rd, 5th, or even 8th? Probably not.
What about all those expensive cloths you bought 2 years ago that you recently donated to Goodwill? How much did those cost?
There are so many things in our life that brought us past joy, but are present waste to us. If you think about the sum of money you spent on all those clothes you eventually gave away, you wouldn’t be struggling to pay the bills these days.
There is a greater waste though, far greater for far more people than clothes.
God gave us a free gift, a gift that lasts for eternity. A chance to find a best friend when we’re alone, a place to run when we’re scared, someone to correct us when we do wrong and to reward us when we do right, someone that will love us more than we could love back.
For so many of us today, our salvation was our past joy, but we can’t seem to even remember the last time God brought us happiness in this present season of our life. We go about living our life forgetting to spend time with God – unable to even remember the last month we even actually read our bible.
But here’s the good news, God wants to change something in your life starting right now if you will let him.
Our plan for our life = Past Joy, Present Waste
God’s plan for our life = Past waste, Present Joy
God has the ability to turn our mistakes into miracles, no matter the circumstances. You may think that you’re too far into your life to give God a chance, but you’re wrong. God is fully willing and able to turn our present wastes into our past as we transition into the next day.
The only person holding you back from a new chapter in your life is yourself – it’s not God. God’s love is always constant and never changing, you have to overcome yourself to be able to come into his love.
The greatest gift you’ll ever receive is a free one, but are you willing to accept it?