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.