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.
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.
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.
May 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
So many times, we allow our past to dictate our present life and the future of where we are going, what we’re thinking, and who we’re friends with. The only past thing God wants you to identify with was the life of Christ.
For many of us we allow a heartbreak, financial set-back, a past relationship, a death, or a mistake hang over our head each and every day that we are living. We allow what happened in the past, something we cannot change, to tell us how we feel about ourself and what kind of friends we can have. But I am here to tell you that it’s ok whatever path you’ve BEEN ON, it’s about where you’re GOING. The truth of the matter is, we’ve all been on the wrong path in the past. We have all failed ourselves, our friends, and family so many times but there is something we forget: Christ died for us.
Christ died on the cross for us because He knew the path we were going on wasn’t the one to success and an abundant life in His will, so we died so that we would get on the right path. The path to heaven.
Sometimes it takes a setback to get back on the right path for our life. Instead of kicking yourself over something that just happened, realize that God is trying to get your attention and instead of running away from His ways, turn to them as a place of comfort and get back on the right path. When you put something infront of God (your job, a friend, a significant other, money, or skill) and it gets taken away, you don’t know who you are anymore. You lose track of “you” because you let the things of this world identify and define who you are. The only thing that can ever define who you are, what you live for, and the decisions you make is Christ. Why? Because His ways will never go away and can never be taken from you, no matter how far you run.
Here’s the thing, you can either sit here and feel sorry for yourself or you can find a way to make your life right in Christ. Nothing gets accomplished through self-pity and judgement on yourself. Christ called you out of your old sinful ways and wants to introduce you to a new life. He called you out of loneliness and into the body of believers to show you love. He called you out of financial stress and into a life full of security in Him because money will not matter in heaven.
So my challenge is thus: Are you identifying with the people that are connect to the current of Christ? Are you seeing their success as empowerment to your situation and as a foreshadow of your vision for your life coming true? Or are you letting your past dictate who you are and the way you feel about yourself because that’s exactly what the devil wants you to do.
Chris covered my past= Giving me a hope for my Present and Future.
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”
1 John 2:1
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
2 Corinthians 5:17