How Responsive to the Gospel You Are the Longer You Hear It

I just sat at church today and my pastor mentioned the Gospel. He always preaches on the Gospel. And if anything he preached a good subject on idolatry. I realize that I hear the gospel a lot- Yes Jesus came and died for my sins and to Repent. But if you have been a believer for as long as me is there even a possibility you can get BORED of the Gospel? ManHoldingBibleI was thinking of that today. I have been a Christian since a young age but yet today I got bored hearing the same message. Then it hit me. I am really a sinner. I am nowhere near like Christ or going to get there anytime soon. I should be in awe of God’s Word and what the Gospel says about Jesus and following Him. I’ve just had the message drummed into my head that I take it for granted. I should not be taking Jesus for granted by any long stretch of the imagination. Here it is a man who was God but yet was completely perfect without sin. And he came to save ME. Yes me who is one of the worst sinners I can think of and being in seminary does not change that. I need to be changed by the Gospel. That means giving up old habits and hangups and hurts and stop drowning in the past in what I Have or Haven’t done.

24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.” 1 John 2:24

This is wonderful news. It means no I don’t have to rely on my deeds to get me through the door or atleast if I am having a good or bad day with God that he likes or loves me any more less. I have to have to learn to rest in God’s grace everyday and not my own ability. I love Jerry Bridges, he is one of my favorite authors and help founded The Navigators. In his book, “The Discipline of Grace” (which by the way I have on my recommended reading list on this site) he says,

“Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the REACH of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the NEED of God’s grace.”

I was talking to a Muslim today and a few unbelievers and I just realized how hopeless they must feel to be approved by God. All the fasting, all the praying will never get them closer to God neither is obeying the law. I have to remind myself even as Jerry Bridges have said that I am no further away from God on my worst days of sin or failure than in some of my best days whencup-of-coffee everything is good and going peachy. Yes I need to be cleansed from HEARING the Gospel. Everyday sin’s deceitfulness and hardness tries to wrestle with our hearts and our flesh, the Devil, and the world try to steal our affections from Christ and onto ourselves and quietly begin to dig and chip away at our identity in Christ. It’s not a life time once commitment, “Oh let me read my bible and decide for myself if I feel Jesus is there or not today.” For a long time I have been chipped away and have become disbelieving and when I start to believe that the Gospel is Boring that’s when I know I need to repent and put my eyes back on Jesus. I guess I took Jesus for granted and that he ‘would always be there when I needed him’ instead of starting thinking that it’s always based on his Grace and my utter dependance on Him. It’s not based on me and what good or bad I do but based on Jesus that I can even remain in a relationship with Him. A lot of theological big whig seminary folks can easily forget that or not apply that principle to themselves. As Jerry Bridges continues,

“So if we are to live by the gospel every day, all tendency to compare ourselves with other believers, not to mention unbelievers, must be put away. Rather we must measure ourselves against God’s perfect standard and daily confess that we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

 

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Still Figuring Myself Out

Hey everyone!!! I realize a lot of people have looked at this blog. Sometimes I decide not to write or say anything just cuz I don’t know what to say. Already it’s 2013. We are almost into March. I have to look back at 2012 and then I have to look at 2013. Start setting some spiritual goals…. what are they? I have no Earthly idea what they may be. What does it mean to be closer to God? Does that mean I need to pray and read my Bible more? I am currently taking Spiritual Discipleship Formation at Liberty University and I am still trying to figure that out. I turned 27 this year. I can look back at my life and yes I have come a long way. But if anything it shows me how much farther I have yet to go to glorify and serve God. I will admit I have not given God my all- finances, health, sexual sanity, and everything else to him. I guess theres that lie we can believe deep down inside that God is holding his best for us or if we really give up our sin we are only missing out and that being Christian is ultra religious with no benefit in sight of following Christ in the longer term. A big lie I might add by the Devil and the World that we can so easily believe.

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Its so hard to get distracted on the finer things of life especially for me. I had a Political Science background and worked extensively on campaigns. In 2009 I joined the Army as a Combat Engineer than later as a Chaplain and enrolling in seminary. Yet my loyalties are divided- Serving God and the Army and perhaps going back into politics and moving up to DC.  I really don’t know. I seek God’s answers and prayer and direction for what he wants to do in my life. Meanwhile the enemy is going after me in everyway shape and form that he can throw at me: Even the kitchen sink. I also want to make a note here that I have also became an online contributor for the Blog of Manly, a great Christian Men’s website that helps men as they grow closer to God and get encouragement. Right now my main goal is staying focused in staying the Army Chaplaincy, finishing seminary (which I will need a prayer to be a miracle by the way).dc

I have no desire to get married or have kids anytime soon. I just came back from a break up that I would rather not have to endure and think about last year. I have a great new niece and also another niece or nephew on the way later this year. I don’t know what I want out of life. Should I go back into politics despising a system I know is broken, corrupt and weak or really try my all to do this Jesus thing even if I don’t know where I will end up? Choices, choices we have in society. The most important thing in life though is to love and serve others and put them above myself. And yes I have a hard time dying to myself and taking my Cross. I need other brothers and sisters who will help me carry it as well. I have a lot of degrees, and awards sitting on at my house but it means absolutely nothing in the end if you feel empty and useless sometimes inside. Sorry it’s been awhile since blogging. Going to try to add some more book reviews, and a few more updates. To those that keep track of me on this blog thank you very much and may God continue to Bless you even more this year.

“The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.” Numbers 6:25

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What an Inspiration

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First of all I usually don’t do something like his but I want to give kuddos for an influential Christian band I enjoy alot- Hillsong Church. Before I started listening to Hillsong back in 2010 I will admit my Christian MP3 library was kind of dismal and uninspiring. A lot mainstream Christian songs got too popie for me. And I hate to say it but there really wasn’t a lot of good influential Christina artist (besides Jars of Clay and Newsboys who were brought to my attention as good). Hillsong has revolutionized worship in contemporary churches and their praise and worship songs have been song by all churches all over the world. Although I think they are a great blueprint I also think many churches should also foster and incubate originality and not negate their own individual calling on Worship as a body for themselves. I will say I don’t agree with their theology whatsoever- I believe they are going off into the deep end with bad people like Joel Olsteen and Steven Furtick who are not orthodox bible preachers and have more of a “Word of Faith” movement and they need to be careful not too buy too much in that. But I don’t believe in throwing the baby out with the bath water. So  I am looking forward to their new album scheduled for release next week and hope they keep putting out what God has called them to do.

Here’s a great preview of their new song. Listening to it now as I type this. I hope it blesses you!

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Picking up the Pieces Where We Left Off

 

Tonight was a historical election and many Americans are either elated or deep down inside have a growing sense of angst, remorse, fear, and doubt in the general direction of our country. I want to say that I believe I am an American patriot. I believe the best of America. I was a former Mitt Romney staffer and have worked on numerous political campaigns before I joined the Army. I worked thinking real change comes from the bottom down and not Washington insiders. What I’ve learned is that real Godly change is not through legislation, politicians or bureaucrats. You can’t legislate morality. You cannot win men’s votes if you haven’t won their heart to God first. Many people think it’s the other way around. When we get good politicians up there that they will usher in what we expect and need of  them. Nothing could be further from the truth. I agree our country is increasingly becoming secularized, but where is the Church in all of this? Are we doing our best by winning souls for Jesus or are we more concerned about ourselves for the time being now?  America has becoming increasingly divided. But God is still sovereign he is still in control and as the scriptures say,

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

So don’t freak out about the next 4 years. We also have another midterm election in 2014. God’s our provider, not government or politicians. I put on the uniform and serve our country because I love our country and I hate to see how we have so morally fallen, as the scriptures say,

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Is America really searching for God right now? I don’t believe so. I think we are so engrossed with ourselves we can’t even see the writing on the Wall or God speaking to us. Maybe God will continue to leave us in the wilderness (high debt, unemployment) and in our sin until we do make a full circle of repentance and coming back to God. Nothing is certain what we hear everyday. The one thing we can always count on is the Word of God. It won’t come back void. Moths won’t eat it up. All of God’s promises prove to be true and God is a faithful, not just for this life but in the life to come. We need to start thinking about things in the context of eternity. God is a great God who is worthy, right and true. Hes not in it for our demise, but our time is limited here on the Earth, and I believe many people in the church are spiritually dead or asleep to what’s really going on.

As Jesus said it will be like the Days of Noah before the flood and his return. Take an assessment of world events, the climate we’re living in and generally ask, are we living in these times? I would say yes. Take a personal assessment of your spiritual life? Are you contributing to God’s kingdom or detracting from it? I am not saying Christians shouldn’t be involved with the political process. Yes we need to vote. Yes we need to be aware o f how candidates stand in relation to the Bible. But that’s not the be all end all. We need to go to God first and realize that he’s the real change. He’s the real hope. And that as Christians we live in a dark, sinful and fallen world and we must exhibit the light of Christ no matter who is running the show here on Earth. If we look at our fallen selves what separates us form the world? Is it Christ? If so start acting like him, putting action in with your faith. Lastly we need to pray.

 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…” 1 Timothy 2:1-3

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2 Things You can be Sure Of

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             There is a lot of things we are unsure of. We are unsure of the presidential election outcome. We are unsure of Hurricane Sandy’s outcome. We are unsure of the latest stocks to buy. We are unsure of the economy and unemployment lines. We are unsure of what tomorrow lies ahead really.  I try not to  be repetitive in my posts, I really do. I have been AWOL in my posts for quite sometime. I have had a lot going on and a stirring of emotions for what God’s plan is for my life. So pray that I may have guidance in all of it.  Anyways, back to the post- what are 2 Things you can absolutely be sure of? Well as this saying goes, Death and paying taxes. Agreed, but we are going to leave the taxes out this time and say Death and your Eternal Destination.

Death:   I was recently reading in the Charlotte Observer of two young college men that died. One who died in Boston and one who died near UNC Chapel Hill. I write this because death is a natural process of our lives whether we like it or not. Death was not originally part of God’s divine creation plan. When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, sin entered the World as they disobeyed God. Since the Fall Humans have died. In fact Humans lived for hundreds of years even reaching the age of 900, until the Flood where God saw Humans wickedness and decided to shorten their life span to no more than 120 years.

 “And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment.”  Hebrews 9:27

 Death is sad. I look at death and it’s the absence of that person in your life you knew or persons or group of people that left. Knowing they are still part of you, and your interaction with them no longer exists. It was never intended to be this way. I look at so many young people like the two men I have read about and even have known personally in real life who lost their lives. Did they know Christ? Did they know that Death would be knocking at their door this early in life? What did they do with their lives on their time here on Earth that glorified God to come before him and see him? I wonder if many of us today were to stand before God if we are prepared to meet him.

The Second thing that we can be Sure of is that we will live forever and have an Eternal Destination.  When you die you will go to 1 of two places: Heaven or Hell. No one can escape this. You can coax God into stay on Earth longer or having your soul leave your body when you want it to. You will go one of two places. There is no incarnation. There are no 72 virgins in heaven waiting for you. You don’t inherit your own planet when you die. There is no purgatory. You don’t remain on the Earth (BTW those are demons, and evil spirits that roam the Earth haunting houses, possessing people, terrorizing them and even trying to inflict damage on the Church). Hell, as Jesus said,

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14

Many people aren’t going to Heaven. I hate to say that. And even Jesus said that. In fact most of the world is probably going to Hell. Look at all the people who are spiritually blinded- followers of Buddha, Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, and even some so called ‘Christians’ and segments of the Church. Jesus said that he came so we can live life abundantly. Are you doing that now? How is your personal relationship with him going? If you were to die unexpectingly would you know who he is when you meet him?  Today is the Day of Salvation. If you don’t really KNOW who Jesus is, but love to read about Him I invite you today to search after him with all your heart. And to Accept him as your personal Lord and Savior if you haven’t already. And 2 things you can be sure of- you will die, and you will spend eternity somewhere whether in Heaven or Hell.

 

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Spiritual Warfare is REAL

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           I don’t know how many hits this blog has gotten recently. I have been AWOL. On many things in life lately, I hate to say that. 2012 hasn’t been a really ripening season for me. It’s been a season of testing and trials. One that I don’t say that I have been great to do. I turn on the news everyday and everything seems to get worse. It seems like the whole world is on a track to Hell spinning out of control with no end in sight. Unemployment’s up. High paying jobs are scarce. Immorality is rampant. Much of the church is asleep. I believe many Christians have become materialistic and more caught up on ‘what I can get from God’ instead of ‘what can I do for God’. Spiritual Warfare is real. I am here talking about personal experience. If you aren’t doing God’s will, and especially if you’re not a believer in Christ-don’t worry he won’t bother you. Just continue on the road your on without God and you’ll be in Satan’s hands.

                    I have a Netflix subscription and I see there seems to have been a lot of fascination with the occult and  supernatural in recent years- Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth,  Ghost Adventures, Paranormal Activity movies, the list seems to go. Isn’t is really messed up that we have to pay an expensive movie ticket to be scared? Or why is our society so messed up we have to see Saw VI? Why do we live in a culture that likes to celebrate death, fear, and the Devil? Don’t get an Ouija board. Don’t’ contact the other side. When you die you go to Heaven or Hell plain and simple. The folks you contact are demons. Not actual Humans. Why is America more fascinated by doing evil with that than seeking the real God of our universe, the author of faith not fear?  I am not saying dressing up your 2yr old in a Pumpkin costume is wrong to get some candy necessarily, but I don’t think many Christians or people for that matter are really aware of the spiritual implications behind it. 

       There is a complete evil spiritual realm controlled by Satan that plans to subdue the mechanisms of the Church and believers in general individually. If Satan can get us distracted, especially on ourselves, he’s won. 2012 hasn’t been my best year. I haven’t been the best academically involved student and I have been moved to various units. My Pastor was recently voted out and half the church left, only leaving me questioning even more if what I was doing is right or was part of God’s plan all along. I don’t believe God ‘supernaturally’ whispers to me. I have to live like every other believer with his Word and by faith. I can’t please God by faith. And I will admit this year it’s been hard on that. I don’t know why. Maybe God is pruning me as the scriptures say, 

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:2 NIV

      I can’t say I have lived or acted much like a believer the past year. I have questioned, doubted, been more fearful and forgetful of who God is and his overall plan for my life in ministry. I’ll admit have been in some rocky waters. I haven’t contributed much because I have been spiritually dead lately. I have asked for God’s forgiveness and taken it to prayer. I know I messed up. But I want to let all of you know we all have seasons in our life like that. But the spiritual realm is real. And I got close to it this year. If you don’t pray daily or walk with Jesus you won’t prevail. Don’t walk alone either.   

Image“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV

            I hope this Halloween and past year we can all learn how this spiritual warfare is real. Whether it’s for the hearts and minds of man, or the political forces that seek to control us that are ungodly, this war is real. I know in previous posts I have mentioned Ephesians 6. I won’t dedicate this whole post to that, but we need to realize we as the church and individuals who are called to God’s ministry that we can’t preach a gospel of no carrying your cross, and hurts, and hang-ups. We will have that in this life. This war is real. Analyze what’s going on in your life right now. Is it from the enemy?

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12 NIV

 

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What servants do

There’s a lot of talk about what defines success here in the church. Depending on your denomination, set of beliefs, way of thinking there are different ways of what a ‘successful ministry’ can look like. But not just that, we want to talk about how do you define being a success in the Christian life? Both are interrelated and are inseparable. It sadly amazing how many Christians will pay to go to conferences, hear tons of sermons, and want to know what emulates ‘success’ in ministry, or for life in in that matter. Sadly the church planting culture that emulates post-modernity are looking to a secular business model- the Burger King, McDonald, franchise of building a church- “Have if your way”, and “Home of the Whopper”. Yes unfortunately many churches have become just that- a whopper.  This post is not to dissuade unity in the church. Not judging either. That’s God’s job. Far from it. Jesus talked about unity in the church and how we are all to be as one. He also aid he would build the church-

“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means rock), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” Matthew 16:18

In the end  we all want success in building God’s church don’t we and see the kingdom advanced? But we must be careful to know what god’s definition of success is and not a secular business models. What is greatness in God’s eyes? Jesus was very clear, those that were the greatest are the servant- the least of us. I don’t think many people like serving, but being serviced in this day and age sadly, even within the church. It’s about ‘us’, and ‘me, myself’ and I’ and how I can be a ‘prodigy, and be a success’, and be ‘superstar’, but not care about my neighbors needs or the unbeliever that I pass everyday. Many churches today have ‘rock star’ pastors who speak at conferences, make grandiose speeches, and write books but don’t seem to care about serving others not to mention they have their own paid security detail, and are inaccessible. Yes they are serving- only themselves. When there’s a real need, a real hurt, we as the church and Christians (Jesus eyes and ears here on Earth) need to step up the plate and be there for them when that happens.

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.” John 13:13-17

All of us need to be really committed to washing each other’s feet. It’s a commandment and God will even bless us for doing so, although that should not be our underlining reasons in doing so.

“If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” Galatians 6:3

God’s definition of success is being humble, and being a servant. Whether you are a pastor, chaplain, minister or regular Christian, Jesus clearly says the greatest in heaven is the servant. He doesn’t say numbers, conferences, and books equates to success does he or who is the greatest? I think many Christians need to read God’s word and see what he says who is the greatest in Heaven. I think we need to look at helping others, not building our own mega ministry. More ministers need to worry about serving, and not being served. Who are what are you serving now?

“But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.” Luke 22:26

On the side note I included the Army Values. This is a basic army tenant that we have to memorize. We have to put the needs of the many outside the needs of our own. Only 1% of America serves, and I think that many of the post-modernity, church planting franchises could learn a thing or two about what the military instills to make great leaders, soldiers, and Christians.

 

 

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Smoking Gun

To all who view my blogs sorry it’s been awhile since I have been back here. There are a few reasons. I finished AT with a Field Artillery unit, and my girlfriend has been visiting so I just got back.  What to say, what to say….. First of all I am grateful that I got to drill with another unit for AT since my current unit is in Kuwait. What an incredible time to do this. This is my first AT as a Chaplain Candidate that I have  been unsupervised by other Chaplains. My former supervisor taught me a great deal, not to mention I’ve learned a lot from US Army Chaplain School. Well this blog is not only a blog about sermons, the Bible, our Christian’s walk with God, but also my own personal life, & journey of faith with God. Like every Christian I continue down the walk of faith. A lot is going on I realize in the news today.

ImageEconomic, social, and political turmoil worldwide. But what it all centers on is Christ being the savior of the world, complete ruler and controller, and letting him be the center of our lives. Many Christians have lagged this, even I have at times. The Holy Spirit has been dealing with me on a wide range of issues- my own sin, my faithfulness to God, and my attitude, and aspect with how I deal with it. To be honest I am one of those people whom panics and worries much. God is slowly working in me to show me that I don’t have everything in control and that I am not God. Control is a central area of our lives that we must also surrender to God. I don’t care if you’re a new believer, or have known him for over 50 years God wants to be the central role in our lives. Also I think everyone is trying to find satisfaction, meaning, and acceptance and it doesn’t matter how hard you work, it’s not based on good deeds but you are justified , accepted, and a child of God, if you believe in his son. My biggest problem in the past is that I would compare myself to other mega ministries and think, “Gee I must not be doing enough.” Quite the contrary, Paul told us:

“We will not boast about things done outside our authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us, which includes our working with you.”

2 Corinthians 10:13

God is dealing with me on this issue. I can’t say I have claimed over 10,000 baptisms or got 11 million people saved. But I answered the call for God and my country to serve in this capacity. God gives us different gifts and I believe counseling, and 1-1 is better for me to handle soldiers. I am to be there for soldiers, provide their needs, and letting them know there is still hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t share all the details of my ministry because much of what I do with soldiers remains confidential, and I will do nothing to jeopardize that trust. My reward is in heaven, and I pray and hope I made a difference with someone each time I see them. I talked to many soldiers about their relationship with God, their hurts, habits, and hang-ups and in some ways it reflects back on me that my life isn’t so bad after all. I have talked to many about family members that are hurting, and what’s hurting them in their personal lives.

In many ways, US Army Chaplains carry the burdens, shoulder them with soldiers. I don’t boast in my own ability with anything- whether that’s completing seminary, being the best Chaplain and future pastor, it’s a complete DEPENDENT relationship with God. We are only going to be as good as our reliance is on Him.  I look in the church today and they have skimmed over to disciple people. There are pastors that love the limelight, conferences, writing books, and love to tell a good story with applause and a theatrical production show. But when the cameras come off, how much of a chance did they have to influence that person on a 1-1 basis, personally? “How’s your day going and walk with Christ? It’s more than just a door greeter.” It’s not just about the numbers, but the person. Were they better off after you talked with them? Why boast about your achievements, and the numbers as ‘Your’ definition of success?

“As the scriptures say, ‘If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD’. When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.”

2 Corinthians 10:17-18

           I had a great vacation with my future wife,  and girlfriend Robin. I miss her dearly, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t’ think about her. I am excited about our relationship and the plan God has for us. We had an awesome vacation near Folly Beach and here in Charlotte, NC.  On a further note, 3 soldiers were killed with the SC National Guard- I did not want to chatter their deaths on facebook, unlike many people. . If you’re reading this blog keep the family in your prayers  of Lt. Ryan Rawl, Sgt John Meador II, SFC Matthew Thomas. We are still at war despite what the media talks about pulling out. We’ve all done an oath to uphold the rule of law, and to follow the Constitution. This is a heavy toll and sacrifice that the 1% of American is still fighting and paying for. I hope the other 99% will also realize that too. Image

NOTE: If you have anything to say about any of my post or want to talk, please leave a comment, and feel free to contact me in the “About me” section. God Bless!

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Fat, Skinny, Tall, God has No Favorites and loves us All

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV

God’s work at the Human race is marvelous. There are currently around 7 billion on the Earth expanding 6 continents. And to know God made all that and the known universe. But you know a secret about God? He has no favorites!!!! I mean imagine that!!! Can you actually believe that? I know it’s even hard for me to believe…. When we see a highly devoted monk or Christian who prays 20 times a day, stays in solitary confinement, doesn’t mean they are necessarily more ‘closer’ to God. But being with God is a relationship. It’s only as good as what you put into it. If you don’t pray, if you don’t go to a church with other believers, and if you don’t do anything with God you aren’t going to get much back. I mean honestly if you never contacted your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife or are intimate with them, what makes you think that they will ever reciprocate back? Unfortunately the world has told us what a ‘standard’ of what a favorite is and if we don’t measure up to it what that’s like instead of what God’s standard of measurement should be.

16 They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites.” Matthew 22:16

You need to look this way, you need to act this way- and even going into a newsstands we are bombarded by photo shopped images of what you should look like, what physic you should be, what color hair and clothes you have. None of that was the way God originally designed us. He had us to be unique, in the image of him. Celebrate that you aren’t like that monk or the guy next door!!! You don’t have to ‘look’ like them, or try to copy their talents, unique gifts and abilities. You don’t need to be in solitary confinement to have a relationship with God or ultra religious. No. You need to use what God gave you. God is creating a canvass, and you are part of the painting. You don’t get to choose where you want to be at, or if the painter messed up your form. No he is still transforming you, from the inside out with a new heart if you are a believer in Christ. I wonder how many times in scripture how God had to ring it in our head how he didn’t play favorites? You know the mega church big pastors- God doesn’t love them anymore than you. You know if you believe in Christ and are obedient to him, he listens to your prayers too. Well you might look at your next door neighbor and think, “Must be nice to have all that. God must love them more.” I wouldn’t say that either.

17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” 1 Peter 1:7

25 “But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.” Colossians 3:25

Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.” Ephesians 6:9

God clearly has no favorites here on Earth. Whether they are better looking, skinner looking, more financially successful it’s all a level playing field when it comes to the cross. We are molded into God’s image and to reflect his son. So wherever you are at, or whatever you look like, or whatever you have done that doesn’t define you. Remember God has no favorites- he has only You, and made only ONE of you, and aligned you with where you need to be at in History to do his Will here on Earth and bring him glory. Remember God is the same God of the prophets, apostles, mega church pastors, dinky church pastors, and is the same God of you. And remember there is a clear line of what the world’s idea of favoritism is compared to God who has no favorites.  

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”  James 4:8

“Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” Romans 9:21

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Why it’s Easier to Believe a Lie than the Truth

Being Truthful can hurt. It really does for all of us. You’re annoying. You’re stupid. You’re dumb. I think for many of us we can believe our own thoughts and feelings, and how other people evaluate us than we do ourselves. That’s where the Word of God steps in and says the truth and distorts the lies. It’s the Devil’s oldest trick in the book going back all the way to the fall.

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

4“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

 Genesis 3:1-4

I think many times when we sin an fall short we believe the following:

  • God does not love us
  • God does not want us
  • God cannot forgive us

After Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, when God entered and they hid. Continuing in Genesis 3:

8Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LordGod among the trees of the garden. 9But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Not only that we think our relationship with him is broken and fractured, never to be repaired. Then the guilt and shame sets in and it’s so unbearable that we can’t live with it anymore. Adam and Eve couldn’t bear to come forth to God. Their sin and rebellion lead to a broken relationship and the Human race for that matter with God. The enemies game is to get us unfocused off the ball. He doesn’t want us to come to Jesus with our problems or with our worries. When the serpent distracted Eve it set her eye off God and questioning everything she believed in. Sin has the same affect on us. Surely God can’t be that good to us to forgive!!!! So much of that is happening in the church today. Christians are getting their eyes off the ball and instead looking at their sin instead to Jesus. Your guilt and shame was nailed on the cross along with all your sins-past, present, and future the moment you accepted Christ as your savior.

Not only that the serpent lied to her saying she would be like God!!! The promise and allure of power and vanity to be like God is what tripped her to fall. Whatever you’re going through today ask for God’s forgiveness and don’t be so turned on by the serpent. Not only that, we need to turn to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit for instruction not ourselves. What amazes me is the thousands of people that commit suicide each day, and year. Is their situation so hopeless that they couldn’t ask God for help or turn to him? Why believe the lies of the Devil for so long instead of what God says about us and to believe in his Perfect Will and Plan?  The church can get focused off the ball and become like the world- gossip, greed, sexual immorality, and a host of others. The enemy does not want us to succeed but God does. I wonder how many times Satan has to lie to us in order for the Church to finally get it. Stop listening to the Devil over your shoulder and get into God’s Word and Pray. It’s easier to believe a lie because we can think of God has some Righteous judgmental vengeful God and he is.  God is Holy. Heaven is Holy and  is his dwelling place. There is no sin there, and flesh and sin cannot enter his presence. We need to have a reverent fear of him. But scripture talks about how he loves those greatly that are His, and although we need to fear God we also need to know that God loves us, and that it’s not a lie what the Bible says and that the same promises that are in his Word are also intended for you. Start believing the best of what God says about you, and don’t get off track. Instead of saying, what you think of yourself or how others evaluate you, starting saying, “But my Father says I am…..”

“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3

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