Monday, November 25, 2013

A Godly Life

      What does it mean to live a Godly life? Is there really a difference between you an me? Why do you think you are so different from me, what makes you better? These are all questions that we as Christians have heard numerous times throughout the years. Yet, oftentimes we answer these questions so awfully. We fail to point to the one that truly is Godly, to the one that makes the difference, to the one that is better than everyone else, we fail to point others eyes to God.
      When a person walks up to us and asks us why we live a certain way, we shouldn't feel the need to make excuses for why we don't work on Sundays (or maybe you don't even use God's given day of rest), why we bow our heads to pray before meals or throughout the day, for why we read the Bible, for why we go to church (isn't it just the same thing each week over and over again), or even for why we celebrate certain holidays such as Christmas and Easter.
      My dear friends, we should be ashamed of ourselves. We think that by offering the same answers that non-Christians do or minimizing the reasons that we do certain things, that should shout forth the glorious wonders of Christ to the world, we in some way can better ease people into understanding God. This is so backwards and so wrong. Instead of making excuses for what we do as a result of living out our faith, how about we stand by them, explain them to a lost world, show them why it is the ONLY way to LIVE. It is not through deception and misguided knowledge that the world will come to know Jesus, but rather through the active explanation of the gospel to those with whom we come in contact with. We cannot sit back and pray that Jesus will work through us, and then when we are presented with the opportunity to share the gospel we run and hide behind some fear that they may no longer like us or hold us in as great of a societal standing. WHO CARES!!! We sure as heck shouldn't!
      There has never been a time throughout all Christianity where the true church has ever been "liked" by all of its fellow man. The church has been persecuted, hated, and despised. Why should we even begin to think that it will be any different for us now? Sure, there are those that will hear the gospel and come to faith in Jesus. That is in fact what our calling is, to lead those souls to the throne of grace. But there will be those that do not appreciate what you say or do as a Christian. It is for that very reason that we must live out our faith. We cannot be ashamed of the gospel. If we are, how will we lead those souls that are called to the throne? Our lives must mean more than merely pleasing the general population of the world. Instead we should be focused on pleasing one alone! Jesus, the Lamb of God, who sits on the throne and the Father's right hand, He is the one that we should be striving to honor and proclaim. "For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." (Luke 9:25-26, ESV)
     This is not merely a suggestion here in Luke. It is a declaration to us that if we do not stand tall and preach the gospel to those all around us, that if we do not live in such a way as to proclaim a different lifestyle, that if we do not act upon the truths that we hold so dear, the one who intercedes for us and holds us in the palm of His hand and gives us life will be ASHAMED of us. How humbling is that. That the Son of Man, ruler of the universe, savior of our soul will be ashamed of those that do not stand for Truth. I do not think that those who truly trust in Jesus as savior will continually fall in this area, if someone does, then the chances are that they were never "one of us". Therefore, let us not fall prey to the snares of the devil. For, it is not easier to brush aside a topic or opinion, for in the end, it will all come down to what we have done for the "least of these." (Matthew 25:45)
   "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak." (Ephesians 6:10-20, ESV)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Many people know September the 11th as a day of sadness and sorrow for what happened in New York City in 2001. However, I will forever remember September 11th for what happened to me this September 2013. This is not to take away from the sadness of events from the past, but merely to express my deep joy.

My day began as each had for recent months with work at the hotel that I worked at. I got home around the same time and was greeted by my beautiful wife. After I got changed and more comfortable, she told me that she had a gift for me. I smiled, wondering what it could possibly be since it wasn't near my birthday or a holiday. As I began to open the package, I began to wonder if it could possibly be what we had just so recently began praying about. To my wonder and amazement there were some little outfits and some pregnancy tests inside. I looked up at my wife, wondering with my expression if it were truly true. To my great joy, she said with a deep expression of joy, "we are gonna have a baby!".

I was so excited and so filled with amazement at God's goodness and grace. Who was I to be given such a gift of love and mercy? I could not wait to tell the whole world of the goodness of my Lord. I know that with Fatherhood comes great responsibility and yet I welcome it with open arms, knowing that if God has given me such a gift as a little child growing in my wife's womb, then He will give me all of the strength and abilities that are needed in order to take care of and provide for my family.

"Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
(Psalm 127 ESV Bible)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Are They Lost??

So, the other day while I was at work, an IT guy was there helping to switch over the computers and their systems. He happened to ask if I was married, and upon saying yes, he said he was sorry for me. I responded by saying that I loved being married, to which he didn't respond. Later, I came to find out that he had at some point gone through a divorce. He mentioned how his children's mother, not his wife or ex wife, had probably gotten rid of something that he used to own.
It was so sad for me to hear this man's thoughts on marriage and life. It makes ones heart break and wish that you could take the time to sit down and try to explain through the scriptures how marriage is supposed to look. God lays out such an amazing picture of marriage in the New Testament and yet so many people view it only as a way to get what they want and to fulfill their own needs.

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit fin everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:22-33

These verses do not merely talk about submitting to one another, but help to show the amazing love that Christ has for us. For, he treats us as HIS bride, the to love, care for, and he definitely gave himself up for those that believe in him. I think those whose eyes have not been opened to the truth lead a sad and empty life. They say that they love life, wouldn't change a thing, and yet they are still searching for what is missing.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Beginning of the Rest of My Life

It has almost been two months now since my marriage to my wonderful and beautiful wife. It seems like time has been moving so swiftly. I have loved every minute of it, and yet know that with time it will only become better and better. God surely knew exactly who to create for me to marry and His wisdom and mercy never ceases to amaze me.
It has been several months since I took the time to write, and there has been so much to happen in that time. First, I thought that surely by now I would have a job, at least one that pays more than the hotel, and that it would be in the field of higher education. I mean, that is what I just spent the past two years of my life preparing for. So, as the summer turned to fall my mindset went from one of worry, to one of wonder. Knowing that no matter what happened within the near future that my Lord and Savior would be right by my side taking care of me every step of the way, just as he has from the moment I was brought into existence. For a while I was worried that living in this house, without a better job would be the most miserable thing ever. However, I soon discovered that this was completely untrue. I have two amazing things with me, that seem to completely offset and take the balance away from a mediocre job. First, I have an amazing and gracious Lord that has blessed me with some many wonderful things, sometimes things that I am not thankful for. Then at times like these I sit back and look at the wonders that He has done for me. For, in caring for me He has blessed me with my mediocre job, blessed me with the most beautiful wife, given me great friends, many of which are also family members, and provided me with a house to live in.
I seem to never to be able to give enough thanks for all of the many blessings that God has poured into my life, and yet He never seems to falter from pouring them continuously into me. I am blessed beyond understanding and measure.
There are no words to express the joy that comes from being content with what the Lord has deemed right for you in any specific moment, and yet here I am trying to do just that. The only thing that I can say to try to express what I am feeling is that there is a peace and joy that comes from relying solely on the Lord that cannot be found in anything else.
To be able to ride into work in the mornings with my wife and read scripture, to be able to see the many blessings that accompany each and every day, to be able to attend a church where the sovereignty of our Lord is put on display, and to know that my family loves and cares for me, no matter what I am doing. It truly is a blessed life that I lead.
To everyone who is down on themselves and thinks that there isn't any hope in what they are doing, know this: that the Lord has placed you where you are for a specific reason and that He does "all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to HIS purpose."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Living the Cost

Many times people talk about what they want out of life. They talk about what life can give them, in the short amount of time spent here on earth. Yet, so many times people forget, or more likely, choose to never even consider what they can give to this life. Jesus talks about this very issue in the book of Matthew.
"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" (Matthew 16:24-26 ESV)
This is a snapshot of what it is like to follow Christ. We are not called to gain the biggest pile of possessions while here on earth, but rather to reach out to those around us with love and grace. So many people look at life as our one chance to be happy, and therefore miss what life is truly about. Life isn't about the stuff we gain, the stuff we lose, or the positions we hold. However, it is about bringing the beauty and glory of Christ to a world in need of great healing. When we die, we won't be bringing our mounds of material possessions with us, in fact not even the clothes that we are buried in will be ours. Rather, we will then be able to truly see what it was all about.
There are many people that think that this life is it, that there isn't another thing worth living for or working towards. I would argue the opposite. We see in the Bible the many different ways that Jesus portrayed this idea while on the earth. He did not merely go through the steps and finish his earthly life without working towards a goal. No, he lived out his whole life for one purpose: to bring salvation and forgiveness to the world, by bringing glory to his name. As his disciples we are called to the same purpose. We are to preach the gospel, the truth of God with conviction and power to those who are in need of salvation and grace. Just as the apostle Peter, along with the other apostles, was arrested in the book of Acts for preaching the name of Jesus, so should we. Not that our goal should be to get arrested by the authorities, but rather that our goal should be to continually preach the gospel in a manner that causes the name of Christ to be heard and experienced. In our preaching/declaring of God's goodness, we will be despised, just as he and every one of his disciples have been throughout the ages. It is when we are not despised that we should have cause for concern. For Jesus told us that we would be hated and despised because of him.
By taking up our cross every day, and being willing to lay down our desires in order to see and experience the kingdom of God being brought about in our world we gain a deeper and more rich understanding of the blessing and mercy of God. He tells us that we will have nothing to fear and that he will always care for us. Many people take this to mean that they will never have any need or want in this life. This could not be further from the truth. Jesus tells us that he will care for us and never forsake us, not that he will spoil us and cause us to forget him. Rather, each and every day we need to see and be thankful for each and every blessing that we are given.