Wednesday, October 31, 2012


       Why do we learn? There are many people that would give a ready response to this question. Their responses would range from the typical; we learn to gain a better place in the world, we learn to get a better job, we learn to better ourselves in our overall state, or the least popular idea, we learn because we love it. When I first entered college I would have declared many of the same answers as the former listed above. However, during my time spent at Geneva College my view on this issue has changed immensely. I no longer look at learning and study as a means to gain a better place in life or a way to make money. I have come to love learning and everything that comes with it. Through the classes that I have taken in the Higher Education program I have seen the beautiful truths that a life of learning can lead to.
      If we love learning, not only will we love learning new things about subjects that are commonly taught at institutions of higher education, but we will come to love learning new truths about the grace and mercy of God. The more we learn about the world that we live in, the more we will learn about the different aspects and the depth of the person of Christ. The beauty that is displayed all around us through the creation should cause us to be amazed by the greatness of our God. Yet, there are many times that we look at things that are not of a primary interest to us as useless or pointless. This is a very poor, and harmful, way to look at the things that God has created. If our primary interests are in areas of literature, education, or philosophy we may not have as much interest in the sciences, medicine, physics, or engineering. However, this does not mean that we should not have a great appreciation for those things.
      God has created the world with such order that we can be amazed at the greatness of the universe while still beholding the beautiful intricate parts that exist. Learning should not be about what it will get us, but rather about how much we can know about our creator. A love for learning gives fuel to the fire that now burns within me. I want to know as much as I can about a wide array of topics, not so that I can posses a certain amount of knowledge, but rather so that I can know more about my savior. The more I study the Bible, the more I see the beauty of God's sovereignty shining forth in every part of creation. The more I study creation and the creatures in it, the more my eyes are opened to truths found in the scriptures and the magnitude of how great and powerful our God is.
       Learning is not about things that fade away, things that do not last, things that "moth and rust destroy". Rather, learning should be about the knowledge that we can gain about our savior, Jesus Christ, and the work that he did on the cross for those that love him. It should be about striving to gain an understanding of the universe that God created to sustain the lives that we so often take for granted. Learning should be about a love for the truth. The only truth comes from God, so a search for the truth should only lead us closer to the Holy and Righteous One.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Why is there suffering in this world? There is one answer that sheds light on this topic very easily. That answer is sin. I am NOT saying that you suffer because of a direct sin that you have done. This could be the case with certain sins, ie. murder, theft, or other such things, you will suffer punishment from earthy powers. However, all suffering is the direct result of the sin that permeates our lives and world. As Christians we need to try to combat sin through the righteousness that has been imputed to us through Christ's work on the cross. We oftentimes hear the phrase, "but they are such a good person" or "what did they do to deserve such suffering?" These statements are not true anyway. I was recently listening to a song by KB and it brought about these thoughts. It said, "Why do the good always suffer and die, they don't, that only happened once." That simple statement has caused me to think deeply the past few days. There has only ever been one good person to live upon this earth. Since that is the case, there are never any "good" people that suffer here on this earth. We only suffer because of the effects that sin has had upon our world, yet, the only reason that sin exists in this world is due to our direct disobedience to the command of God. Therefore, because of the sin that we have brought into the world, we suffer.
Yet, suffering is not always a bad thing. Yes, sometimes it can be very painful and very hard to go through. But would we rather say to God that we wished our life was easy and knew and trusted him little? This rather than to suffer some in this world to be enlightened with the mercy and grace that God has shown to us and to know the great mercy he shows to us daily, to learn how to trust God in everything that we do. Because of the way that God has shown throughout the history of the world that when, the church as a whole  or individual Christians, we suffer we grow by amazing leaps and bounds. The church throughout the world has grown in persecuted countries, while here in America the numbers grow while the church does not. I do not mean by church a building and amount of people inside that would claim to attend because of faith. Rather, I mean the church, those that truly worship God in their hearts, not because it looks good, not because it is the easy thing to do, not because it is what their family has always done, but those that serve Christ daily, with or without food, with or without shelter, with or without the promise of life.
We need to suffer as Christians. If we are not suffering in some way, then we are not stepping out of our comfort zones enough. Suffering brings about a change in the way a person sees the world. Many times it brings about two different responses. The first is to curse God and blame him for our suffering. The second is to take joy in knowing that through your suffering you have the gift of being able to express the wonderful grace of God. We can see amazing examples of this throughout scripture. Two great examples are that of Job and Paul. Job has his whole world taken away, all but his wife. Yet, he says that the Lord gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. This is an amazing example of the way that we should approach suffering. Every good thing that we have on this earth is a gift from God, there are no good things that we deserve. Paul's example is also truly eye opening. We see the amazing way that he shares the gospel of Christ with those that he comes in contact with throughout his whole life, and yet he is beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and left for dead more times than not. Yet, he says, "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead."
(Philippians 3:8-11 ESV)
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ take great joy in your suffering. Learn what God has to teach you through those trials that come, for they will come. Life will not be easy, but you will be held safely in the arms of Christ if you truly trust in him. No matter what trials come or what dangers you may face, you can take comfort in knowing that you have a savior that intercedes for you each and every day. The Lord of all creation cares for your every NEED and will always carry you through to the end. Use your sufferings to bring glory and praise to His name and those around you will see His glory shining through.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


In many Christian circles today there are large arguments about music. What is appropriate in church, what should we listen to out of church, and even the occasional question of whether Christians should listen to people in the music industry at all. There are a few things that come to my mind when talking about music. When it comes to what is appropriate in church, I would say that as long as it brings glory and honor to Christ alone, then it can be appropriate. I do believe that there are certain congregations that are in different places musically then others. Part of this reason is due to their upbringing and things that they have been exposed to. I do think that there are some styles of music that are less appropriate for a church setting. Not because they are in and of themselves bad, quite the contrary, but merely because they make it harder to understand and are not as easily understood. For instance, musical styles like rap or heavy metal/screamo. These styles may have many good things to say about Christ and his glory, but they may not be able to be understood by a congregation. I recently listened to a song by KB called, "Here We Go". I believe that it is one of the best worship songs that I have heard. In order to understand what I mean by that I think that we need to understand what worship is. I would define worship as any time spent declaring the glory and majesty of God. Therefore, anything that draws your eyes/heart to the throne of Christ should then be considered worshipful. If it draws your eyes away from Christ then there is an opposite effect that takes place in ones life.
I believe that there are many churches who do not use songs within their congregational worship times just because they believe that they may offend someone in attendance. Now, I am not talking about a certain style or genre, but merely because of the words that are said. More "Christians" would be offended by a song that talks about the sinful hearts of man that can do no good on his own without the divine intervention of God, then by a secular song being sung in their Sunday morning service. Again, more "Christians" would say rap in any and all forms is of the devil and should never be uttered within a church, and yet they would sing a song about Jesus not intruding upon our lives and waiting for US to open doors so HE can act. This is one of the sadest states within the church today.
KB's song "Here We Go" states, "Here we go, we're fighting just to see another day, to behold the beauty and the glory of his face, here we go.... every day I have one goal to convince myself there's one Lord, it's not me or the things i long for.... my heart's so prone to go astray, every morning i pray, its a call to grace, i beg the lord to give me vision, to see the beauty in the scriptures...If you could see what God does to our hearts, it's light breaking through the darkness... He will come and get US..." How can we see anything but Christ when looking at this song? Yet, because of the way that it is written and sung there are people who would say that it does not become a Christian to listen to or long to worship alongside the men singing that song. As John Piper has said many times before, God is glorified most when we are enjoying Him. He does not receive glory when all we do is think about ourselves. He does not receive glory by our statements implying that unless we act, there is no salvation. God takes glory in himself ALONE!
If you enjoy rap music, or would like to check it out, I would highly recommend KB's new debut album entitled, "Weight and Glory."

Friday, July 6, 2012


What is love? Scripture lays out many qualities for love, ones that most of us have probably heard a hundred times. They are used at weddings and as ways to try to get people to act "lovingly". However, these are just actions that come from someone who is a loving person. What makes this person loving? I think that the answer is found in I John 4:7, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us."
(1 John 4:7-12 ESV)
We see here the amazing love that can exist within us. If love is from God then the only way that we can truly love, is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to trust fully and only in Jesus Christ. John clearly says here that, "whoever loves has been born of God and knows God." Now, some people might say, "how can this be true?" I would point back to the text where it again says, "if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us." I love what this passage means to us as Christians. It puts such a greater calling upon us to share the gospel with those we come in contact with. Without God, there is no salvation, no love, no hope. However, when a person comes to a saving faith in Christ, there is salvation from sins. There is a deep love and passion for others. There is HOPE!
Without God in our lives, all of our attempts to love others fail. We use our "love" to be manipulative, greedy, and selfish. We act as though our deeds are what love is, when our hearts couldn't be further from love. We act as though we deserve something for the "love" we show to others. How can this possibly be love? We have an amazing example of what true love looks like in this passage from I John. He says, In this the love of GOD was made manifest among US, that GOD SENT his ONLY SON into the world, so that we might LIVE through him." It isn't about what actions we do or who they are done to, in one sense, but rather it is what we have living in us and coursing through our bodies. Is it our sinful, selfish, depraved state that we are born with? Or rather is it this love that God displayed through the appearance of his son? This is a question all people must ask themselves. Without Jesus being the propitiation for our sins, we never would know what love is or even looks like.
Even though we can now love because of Christ living in us, our love is oftentimes still tainted by our sinful humanness. We will only truly love upon receiving our purified bodies when we join Christ, worshiping him forever, in paradise.
Praise God for his loving kindness and mercy that he has so graciously poured out upon those whom he has chosen to draw to his glorious presence!!! Amen and amen!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Highs and Lows

There are times in life when we go through highs as well as lows. So many times, especially as American Christians, we take for granted what we have. I have seen the ways in which God has grown me through the low times. Those times where our family didn't know where the next meal was coming from, or how we were going to pay the bills. Yet, we were never lacking. God has, and always will provide for us. He says in Matthew,

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

(Matthew 6:25-34 ESV)

How then are we to complain about what we don't have or what we think we deserve? Rather it is a blessing and a lesson to be learned when we have naught and must continually seek God's face for what we need. Scripture says that we should not have to little that we curse God, but also not too much that we forget Him. Therefore, it is God who supplies all that we NEED each and every day. I think that we need to look to Him more often for the times that we feel like we have been abandoned or cast aside. It is then that we learn some of the deepest and sweetest lessons in life. Can we say that the apostle Paul did not benefit from the great trials that he faced throughout his life? Absolutely not!! By the end of his life he saw himself as most blessed for the sufferings and trials that he had faced for the cause of Christ. If we do not learn from the scriptures and see the many ways in which God cares for us, each and every day, we will be in trouble.

If God can provide for the animals of the earth, then how much more so for us. God has given us such great abilities, each differing from the next. Some of us He has given great physical prowess and ability, while other a mental capability that is beyond understanding. Yet, all these things are to work together to bring praise to His name and to cause one another to be a blessing to those around us. If we are seeking God's face and striving to become more like Him, it is then that we will be truly blessed. May God's love flow over and around each and everyone of you, bringing honor and glory to His name alone!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Today I was sitting in my Legal Issues class at Geneva College and we began talking about the topic of freedom of speech. I think that many times as Christians we are wimps when it comes to this area. We lay down and don't stand up for what we believe, and what we say we love. We say along with Peter that we love Jesus and will never turn our backs on him. Yet, when push comes to shove we let people walk all over our faith. They say that they don't like what we don't have to say, or that they won't listen to what we have to say about God. So, instead of continuing to preach the gospel, no matter what the pressure and trials are that we have to go through, we change our story or we go against everything that we say we believe in. I watched an interview in class today with a non-christian comic columnist and he said, and I quote "It is idiot for people to stop talking about any subject just because someone says that it is offensive to them." Now, this man was not talking about Christians or anything to do with faith. He was talking about life in general. If someone is that willing to make sure that no one takes away their freedom of speech when they could be telling someone why the grass is purple and the sky is yellow, then why do we as Christians lay down our faith and abandon our God at the slightest protest to what we have to say?
Paul says as he writes to Timothy,

        "I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you."

(2 Timothy 1:3-14 ESV)

Why, with this information do Christians, more so here in America than elsewhere in the world, hide and cower in fear? I pray that going forth more people will take a stand for what they believe. No PERSON can tell us to stop talking about our faith in God. Yes, the apostle Peter did betray our Lord and deny him three times, yet when Jesus had prayed for him and brought him through the sifting of Satan, Peter went to jail for the message of the gospel that he shared. He could not be bullied or told what to say. I pray that we would learn the same lesson and take hold of the boldness that comes from Christ's love indwelt in our hearts.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I was recently listening to the song "Boasting" by Lecrae. Here are the lyrics:
If this life has anything to gain at all
I'll count it loss if I can't hear you, feel you, 'cause I need you.
Can't walk this earth alone.
I recognize I'm not my own, so before I fall
I need to hear you, feel you, as I live to make my boast in you alone.

[Verse 1:]
With every breath I take, with every heart beat,
Sunrise and the moon lights in the dark street.
Every glance, every dance, every note of a song.
It's all a gift undeserved that I shouldn't have known.
Every day that I lie, every moment I covet
I'm deserving to die, I'm just earning your judgment.
I, without the cross there's only condemnation.
If Jesus wasn't executed there's no celebration.
So in times that are good, in times that are bad
For any times that I've had it all I will be glad.
And I will boast in the cross. I'll boast in my pains.
I will boast in the sunshine, boast in his reign.
What's my life if it's not praising you?
Another dollar in my bank account of vain pursuit.
I do not count my life as any value or precious at all.
Let me finish my race, let me answer my call.
[Verse 2:]
Tomorrow's never promised, but it is we swear.
Think we holding our own, just a fist full of air.
God has never been obligated to give us life.
If we fought for our rights, we'd be in hell tonight.
Mere sinners owed nothing but a fierce hand.
We never loved him, we pushed away his pierced hands.
I rejected his love, grace, kindness, and mercy.
Dying of thirst, yet, willing to die thirsty.
Eternally worthy, how could I live for less?
Patiently you turned my heart away from selfishness.
I volunteer for your sanctifying surgery.
I know the Spirit's purging me of everything that's hurting me.
Remove the veil from my darkened eyes.
So now every morning I open your word and see the Son rise.
I hope in nothin, boast in nothin, only in your suffering.
I live to show your glory, dying to tell your story.

Glory was solely meant for you.
Doing what no one else could do.
With All I have to give, (With all I have to Give)
I'll use my life, I'll use my lips. (My Lips Yeaaah)
I'll only glory in your Word. What gift to me I don't deserve.
I'll live in such a way that it reflects to you, my praise

This song screams forth the gospel. Lecrae has managed to capture with this Rap the many things that so many artists before him have attempted to accomplish. I love his line "God has never been obligated to give us life. If we fought for our rights, we'd be in hell tonight." This is the gospel. We do not deserve on any level whatsoever to be given life and freedom and the love of God. Yet, God has given us those things. Which is absolutely beautiful. The only right that we hold as human beings, is to get what we deserve. What we deserve is merely death. We are born with sin and are unable to do good without Christ. Therefore the only thing that we deserve is death for our trespass of sin. 


"How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

(Romans 10:14-17 ESV)

Why is this passage so hard for us to understand? Paul here, in Romans, is clearly stating that the only way that people can come to a saving belief in Christ is by hearing the word of God preached. Paul uses a reference here to Isaiah 52. The idea that those who bring the gospel to people have beautiful feet is not a new idea. Paul not only draws on his learning from his teachers in Jewish law, but also on the foundation that God had already laid in the Old Testament.
In this passage we see Paul make an argument that has steps in it. If one of them doesn't happen, then they all don't happen. He says that people cannot call on Christ unless they have already believed. This is a very controversial idea in Christianity today. However, this should not be the case. Paul is very clear in these verses. People do not like to think that they have already believed in Christ before they call on him. That takes away from their feeling of having a part in the saving faith that they receive. If you tell a person that they are saved before they repent (call on God) then they have nothing whatsoever that they can boast in. The whole work of salvation then comes down to the sole grace of God and his saving ability.
Through this passage we can see then that God sends forth people to preach the gospel. Those people preach the gospel to people who hear what they are saying. Through the presentation of what they hear, their hearts are moved/sparked/brought to life. Those same people then call on the Lord in whom they now believe. Through this belief they repent and turn from their sin.

Initial Thoughts

I am new at this whole blogging thing. Yet, I feel the need many times to write down the many thoughts that come across my mind during a day and week. I hope that this blog is an encouragement as well as a deep challenge for everyone who takes the time to read it.

        By His grace and for His glory,

So many people take the word of God and merely try to apply it to their life. Is this really what God has called us to do? I think not. We are called to seek and to search out the true meaning of what scripture says. Yes, there are applications to each of our lives that we can take away from the Bible, yet at the same time there are things that are not meant for us. They were written to give us an insight into scriptural meaning or to better understand the person of Christ. In that manner they are for us, but other than that we have no application of them to our lives.
There are so many things that we will never understand about God and his will for our lives. Are we supposed to give up searching then, to never try to understand the wonderful beauty that is Christ? I think that this is quite contrary to what scripture has to say. We are to try to discern the will of God, and yet this would be impossible without continually trying to understand. Even if it takes a whole lifetime. We need to take courage and grace from the fact that Christ says that he will reveal himself to us more and more each day that we seek him. Why do so many Christians ignore this truth? It is because they don't want to know him more. They are content with the small and insignificant lives that God has blessed them with. They do not even notice that it is God who has given them these small earthly blessings. We need to call out to God for help and direction in this area.