Friday, May 31, 2013

I give my life to you God, but what's this "living sacrifice" stuff?

A few quick updates: I completed college last December, I work in the business world for an advertising company... Oh, and I got married to my beautiful wife Becca. 

Becca and I have been learning many things together since being married. One of those things is about surrender and submission to the Lord. We are seeking the Lord and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our steps. This is definitely easier said than done. I want to talk about the act of surrender and what it really means.

Sometimes we can be so quick to throw around phrases that sound spiritual or that we hear other people saying, but do we mean it? 
Phrases like: I will go to the ends of the Earth for the Lord... I surrender my all to you Jesus... and I give my life as a living sacrifice.

You may be saying, what is wrong with those statements?     - Absolutely nothing is wrong with saying those things. In fact, I believe God would love to hear us declare those things and many more to Him. However, have you followed up on those statements? The Lord knows your heart and will not be fooled when we say one thing and live completely different.

I have been challenged recently with backing up my declarations to surrender everything to God. Yes, He deserves everything to be given to Him, but so many times we want to hold on to our relationship, our future, or our money. The problem is when we say to God: "You can have my church life, but I want to be in charge of who I marry, where I live and the money I spend." When we do that, we are not allowing God to use us at our full potential. In fact, we may be living our lives fully dependent on ourselves, which in turn leaves no room for the Holy Spirit to move and work in our lives. We must become dependent on God so that it is He who gets the glory even in our weaknesses.

Back to how God is teaching Becca and I about surrender. We are becoming acutely aware of the rampant sin and destruction in the world. Therefore, we have come to the conclusion that if we want to have lives that honor the Lord and have children that do the same, we must fall on our faces (acknowledging that He must become greater and we must become less). We worship the one true God. The only God who is worthy of such praise, and the only God who cares about us enough that He would send His son, Jesus, to die for us. To know such a love that He would lay down His life for sinners like us. Because of this, we say to God, "We give our lives to you as a living sacrifice. We are available for whatever may come and wherever You may lead." 

I am convinced... LIVING for the one who gave His life, so we can have eternal life, will NOT end poorly.

My prayer for us today is that we would see that a life surrendered in obedience to God is a life that is being lived to the fullest. Wherever the Lord takes you, may you carry the good news of the Gospel at all times. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Carry Jesus with us wherever we go...

Last weekend, I had the privilege of worshiping together with 22,000 other people in the same place for 4 days! That's not including the hundreds of thousands across the world, some in underground churches and some while threatened for their lives. At one point while we were all singing and lifting up the name of Jesus, I wondered if this is what it is going to be like when Jesus returns. I couldn't help but to think of the whole world along with the angels glorifying and magnifying Jesus all together...what a day that will be!

Some notes from Passion 2011:

David Platt-
- 6.8 billion people in this world / 4.5 billion would spend an eternity in hell if Jesus came back today
- We do not have time to play games!
- We do not have time to live comfortable nominal Christian lives!
- Jesus is worth your life.
- Difference: We (the church) tries to do everything to draw people in, while Jesus showed them what it would cost to follow Him... everything!
- Jesus never said just do A-admit im a sinner. B-believe in me. C-confess im your Lord. (then you will be saved. He said, take up your cross, sell everything you have and follow me. a little different!
- We have redefined Jesus and Christianity to be what we want them to be. We have made Jesus in the image of us! (A nice, middle-class, happy church going man). And the danger in that is when we lift our hands to worship Jesus, we are no longer worshiping Jesus of the Bible, we are worshiping...ourselves!
- Oh, and just a reminder..we are not saved because of what some Roman soldiers did to Jesus. Jesus was taking on the entire sins of the world, past present and future! That is why he was sweating blood before he went to die.
- 3 things to remember! 1. Jesus is worthy of all of your trust! 2. When you follow after God, go and proclaim the kingdom of God! 3. Jesus is worthy of all of our affections (When you know God truly, you will love God deeply).

John Piper-
- Two questions: 1. Do you like making much of God (giving glory to Him) because you know He will make much of you (you will get the glory)? 2. When God makes much of you (out of your weaknesses) do you make much of Him (show how powerful He is)?
- To have your life reflect the second question, make God the bottom or root of your life so that when you live, He will spring through from the bottom like a fountain.
- 6 reasons God makes much of me: 1. by being pleased with us and by commending our lives (well done good and faithful servant). 2. by making us fellow heirs with His Son who is the owner of everything (Matthew 5). 3. by sitting at the table while Jesus serves us as a servant (Phil. 2) 4. by appointing us to carry out the judgment of angels (Daniel 7). 5. by ascribing value to us and making us a valuable possession (Zephaniah). 6. by granting you to sit with Christ on His throne (Revelation 3:21).
- So... God DOES make much of me. the question is, ranking!

Louie Giglio-
- There are many names we are associated with: Kesha, Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Katy Perry, Usher, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Nike, Adidas, North Face, Coach, Apple, Sony, Microsoft, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Miami Heat, Georgia Bulldogs, Florida State Seminoles and many many more... All these brands and teams are able to stay in business and keep going because we carry their name with us!

These were three of the many speakers at Passion conference.

So what about the most important name of all? What about the name that is above all names? What about the name that one day every knee will bow to? What about Jesus' name? Well, what about it? Are you willing to carry the name of Jesus with you everywhere? I think its about time to start stepping up and declaring that Jesus is the only one to be lifted up!

Passion was a unique experience that I hope and pray will not be lost in the next month or two months or 6 months or year... But in order for that to happen, we need to do some thing back here at home.

So what now..?
1) Never get comfortable! Ever. If we start to get comfortable, Satan starts to tell us that it is ok to slack and just be average again.
2) Your mindset should be that of everything is done for the glory of the Lord God Almighty! Always.
3) Remember, you and I are NOT perfect and will never be perfect. We will make mistake, we will screw up. But don't allow that to stop you and derail you from your ultimate goal of lifting Jesus up!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Sit and Soak

But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3

It is so important for me to just sit and God's Word. I mean, I love being busy and I usually load my schedule with extra stuff added on to the daily routine, but so do most people in this world. That is why the quiet moments in the day should be so important. It is during those times that I can sit at the feet of my heavenly Father and listen for His voice. It is usually a time when He shares with me verses like Isaiah 43:1-3. 
These moments make me smile. Because through the busyness and uncertainty of life I know that I can rest in the knowledge that my God has redeemed me and called me by name. When you can have comfort and confidence in something like that, it makes your outlook on life dramatically different. I no longer have to worry about where I will be attending school next year, if I will find a girl to join me in a lifelong journey together, what my future holds in missions, or where my family will be. I don't have to worry, cause God is with me and will direct me in the right path. And do you know how amazing that is? It does not matter how busy your life gets or if your friend has hurt you or if you have let someone down or life just stinks right now. Run into the arms of Jesus, He loves you and will show you mercy and peace and healing. So if you are going through a lot in your life or difficulties, than I encourage you to just sit, and soak in the Word of the Lord. Taste and see that He is good!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I need to be reminded...

 some artwork I did in High School

I recently started my third year of college and when I walked into my first class (Astronomy) I realized that this semester was going to be a challenge. As my professor stood in front of me, it struck me that he was throwing around his opinions about "the Big Bang Theory" very freely. Not only was he stating that it was fact, but he was also saying that any other beliefs were foolish... Now, my first thoughts were to stand up, tell him that he was lost and going to hell and walk out. The HS is the only thing that stopped me from doing that. So, I went home and thought further about what had just taken place and decided that I needed God's help on this one. First of all, it is hard for me to sit in a classroom and listen to someone is openly opposing my faith and does not care. But once again, the HS who lives in me, guides me to be loving and gracious to the ones who oppose God. My job is to prepare myself for an instance if it comes up where I am able to stand up for my faith and share the TRUTH with the class, then I will boldly. Until then, God is teaching me to learn from listening to other's points of view and respect what other people have to say.

I just finished a book called "Radical" by David Platt and in it he challenges all Christians to do something that seems radical, but really is just biblical. His challenge in the next year: 1. Read the whole Word. 2. Pray for the entire world. ( 3. Use your money for a specific purpose to bring glory to God. 4. Spend time in another context (On mission). 5. Surround yourself with fellow believers who are a part of a strong body of Christ.
 These things have really helped me keep my eyes on the things that really matter in this world instead of the lesser important stuff that too many times we see as "more important" than God. In Philippians 3, Paul writes "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." Those words are so important to keep in mind when you start thinking about what you want to do in your future, your future spouse, the friends that you have, and the decisions you make. It affects all of that. If God is truely at the center of your heart, all of those other things will be like garbage to knowing Christ! I have been learning this again and again in my life and I hope you can learn something as well. The Lord has given me and you this life to do with what we want, but the only life that matters is the one who is seeking to honor the Lord. The one that is seeking to make their life NOT their own.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Passion Conference

A gathering of over 21,000 college students!


A view from the upper level. Still really good and close!


The theme was a Global Awakening.


What an incredible sight! Praise God!


A picture from my phone looking down below.

I got to write my blog's name on the artwork! How cool! :)


Our great group!


With one one the volunteers.


Be a part of the Global Awakening. Live Link March 8th.

God is really doing something in this nation. We must all be on board to win souls for the kingdom of God. 

Let your hearts not grow weary or faint of the task that is ahead. But run into the arms of the one who gives restoration. The workers are few but the harvest is plentiful. So let's get to work!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Worship- It's what we do!

Who thought it would snow so much in Macon, Ga!

I love to worship!

I love every part about it. However, many people think worship can only be singing songs. Worship is more than a song. Worship is a lifestyle and a choice. So many times I feel as though Christians are ok with NOT standing up for the "one" thing they worship. You have a choice to worship whatever, and wherever you want. The one thing you do not have a choice in doing is worshiping whenever you want. You always worship something! Whatever may be the one thing that you are giving the majority of your time and effort to is the one thing you hold high above everything else and worship. One of my favorite books about worship is "The Air I Breathe" by Louie Giglio. He shares a story of a time when he was flipping the television channels and stopped on Oprah. What he saw was mind-boggling! On the TV in front of him, Oprah was interviewing a guy named Michael Jackson. Ever heard of him? They showed one clip to the audience and one image was engraved on Louie's mind: the sight of a young girl with her arms outstretched and eyes glued on this man. She was singing praises to his name! He said that was the most intense worship he had ever seen, and it was for a man. A human being! A sinner just like you and me! How then can the human capacity to worship be so great and yet the one who deserves that worship be left in the background? Since I read that story, the way I look at worship is different. If I can worship another person with intense passion, I should be able to worship the maker of the heavens and earth exponential times more! I thought I would share with you what worship looks like in Uganda. I got this video from Francis Chan who is another one of my favorite authors.

Also, my spring semester started last month and one class I am taking is Physical Science. Now, although my teacher believes in evolution and the big bang theory, it is incredible to know what has to happen to make this universe run! Did you know that if the earth's moon would go even 1 mph faster, it would float away into space or 1 mph slower, it would crash into the earth? Did you know that even at the speed of light at 299,792,458 meters per second (186,000 miles per second!) it takes the light from the sun 8.5 minutes to reach the earth? That means we are seeing 8.5 minutes into the past if we look at the sun! How does someone look around and see all of this, and not believe that there IS a Divine Creator? That is the God we worship! And whether we choose to worship Him or not, He will still be that God.

Monday, December 28, 2009

My First Blog!

Hello Everyone,

I have decided to start a blog about my life and why it is not my own... thus the name of this blog, "my life AS not my own." Christmas day has come and gone now and people are getting ready for the new year with their New Year's Resolutions. As I went thru another Christmas holiday, I kept thinking to myself how amazing God is. Think about this: God the Father sent His Son, Jesus, to this earth. Jesus, being fully human, died on a cross the most painful death that anyone could ever think of and He did it so that we could have life, on earth and eternally with Him in heaven one day! Ok, so here is where it gets tricky... Jesus is God's Son, but God the Son and God the Father are ONE. If God the son was fully human, how could He also be God the Father? Simple. God is 100% human, and 100% divine! That means, while He was on the earth saving us from our sins, He was in hevean controlling the whole situation. How could this possibly be? He is the ONLY one who is worthy! Let me put it into perspective: Revelation 5:2,5 says "
And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?'... See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals." He was the only one who was blameless and spotless. He was and is and will always be perfect. No one can say that except the one who is worthy! That is why my life is not my own.