Category: Faith

Pick up your cross and follow me

Pick up your cross and follow me

December 30, 2015 • Faith

Over the past two or three weeks, I finally experienced God’s love for me. Completely and truly. I feel conviction, but no longer condemnation. And just over the past two days, the LORD has laid some things on my heart. Showing me the sins I’ve committed and my need to repent.

What sins may you ask? Not loving others as Christ loves me.

As Christians, we are called to be like Christ. Christian means “Little Christ”. We are to walk and loved as He first loved us (Ephesians 5:2). With all the evil that is going on in the world, we seem to forget that we still need to love others no matter what wrongs they commit against us. We are called to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-45), so much to the point that we are willing to die for them, just as while we were still His enemy, Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8).

It’s all about God’s timing

It’s all about God’s timing

July 31, 2015 • Faith, Life, Robert

I think the biggest thing when it comes to the Christian faith is trust. It's based simply on trusting in Jesus payment on the cross and God's faithfulness to save you. You have to learn to completely trust in God for everything. And I can tell you from first hand experience that it isn't easy. I think one of the main reasons is because we think we can do it all on our own and we don't want to have to rely on others. We want to think we have it all figured out. We want what we want when we want it. However, God's timing is always perfect. That's something I've been realizing lately.

Since Rob and I got engaged back in January of 2014, we've been so antsy and impatient to finally get married. Although, things just haven't worked out that way for us. There is just so much that we have to figure out and it just became so overwhelming and nothing was going the way we needed it to. I had to just keep reminding both him and myself that things would work out when they were meant to, but that didn't mean it was any easier. I still continued to feel like things were just never going to work out and we were never going to get married.

But God is faithful.

Living a life of faith

Living a life of faith

March 30, 2015 • Faith

Something I’ve struggled a lot with is the concept of faith. What is faith? How is it different from belief? How do I know I have enough? It’s something I’ve prayed about a lot lately. Something I’ve been seeking the answer to.

Now I’ve finally at least begun to understand.

The first thing I’ve learned is that faith and belief mean two different things. Belief is the acceptance that a statement is true or something exists. Faith is an attitude of trust in something for the purpose of enabling it to do something for you. You can believe pretty much anything, like a thought or an idea. But with faith, it has to actually be in an object. You can’t just simply have faith. Just like love, you can’t just be in love. Love has to have an object. Belief is required to have faith, but you don’t need faith to have belief.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “step out in faith” at some point in your life, but never “step out in belief.” A good example of this is from a Pastor by the name of Charles Price, about his experience the first time he went bungee jumping.

“So, I tell you, it was probably the most nervous thing I’ve ever done in my life. And I could have stood back on the bridge, away from the end of the plank, and I could have said, ‘I believe this cord is strong enough to hold me, because actually the rope is attached to a short elastic rope, which is made up of thousands of strands of elastic’, and he told me, ‘if one of these strands is broken, the whole rope has to be discarded.’ I could have stood back and said, ‘I believe that would hold me,’ but I would never do a jump that way, I had to go out on the end of that plank, put my arms out, and as he counted me down, just fall, and I’ll never forget the sensation of leaving that plank and just free-falling, those hundreds of meters, look up the whatever it was, and seeing the river racing up to meet me, and thinking ‘I’m gonna die.’ And suddenly the rope reached its full length, and the elastic began to stretch, and they’d measured in such a way that it went within three feet of the river, and then bounce back up again.But the point is this: I could not experience the adequacy of the rope, unless I was prepared to jump off the end.”

How can you not love Jesus?

How can you not love Jesus?

March 25, 2015 • Faith

It’s been a question that has been bothering me recently. I seriously don’t understand it. I know the world hated Jesus, and he said we would be hated by the world as well. (John 15:18-25) But I just don’t get it. Could someone explain to me why and how?

I think the biggest problem nowadays is that people don’t fully understand the gospel. I know I didn’t till recently. For the longest time I still thought it was something?I?had to do. I knew Jesus died for our sins so we could go to heaven, but like many, I thought “It can’t be?that?simple.” Just believing, simply having faith in what he did and fully trusting in what he did? That’s all I have to do? In the world we live in today, it seems just too easy. Nothing today is that easy. You have to work for everything – be good enough.

But let me tell you, friends – it?is?that easy. (Act 16:31, Romans 10:9) You’re a sinner. I’m a sinner. We are broken and screwed up. We’ve all broken God’s moral law. Look at the world we live in if you don’t think so. You can’t see all the awful things going on in this world and tell me something isn’t wrong with us. And if you think to yourself “I’m not a bad person. I’ve never killed or raped anyone.” By that standard, yes, you may be a “good” person. (Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8)

But let me ask you this – have you ever told a lie? Everyone in this world has, even you (and yes white lies or lies for the “greater good” count as lies). And what would you call someone who lies? A liar.

I’m a liar, and so are you.

What about stealing? Have you ever stolen something? Maybe you borrowed a pencil and never gave it back. Or downloaded music illegally. That’s stealing. And what do you call someone who has stolen? A thief.

I’m a thief, and so are you.

A big one today is adultery. In the world we live in we’re surrounded by sex and sexual images. According to Jesus, if anyone even?looks?at a person with lust, they’ve already committed adultery in their heart. (Matthew 5:27-28) And what do you call someone who commits adultery? An adulterer.

I’m an adulterer, and so are you.

What about using the Lord’s name in vain? Whether it may be a curse word or a simple “Oh, my God”. A person who does that is a blasphemer.

I’m a blasphemer, and so are you.

Here’s one that may hit home. Jesus’ greatest commandments are to love God and one another. (Matthew 22:36-39) Ouch. I don’t know about you, but I’m not always very loving towards everyone. Not even those people I love most in my life. I can be mean, hateful, and downright selfish. I’m not very kind, gentle, patient, or even faithful. I tend to make myself more important and put myself first above everyone else. Sometimes I hurt someone’s feelings and at least for a little while, I don’t care. How awful is that? But we all do that – we all act that way.

I can be unloving and so can you.

And this is just half of the ten commandments, but I think you get the point. But so far, according to this list I am a lying, thieving, adulterous, unloving, blasphemer and So. Are. You.

It’s not looking very good for either of us. That is part A of the gospel. That we’re not good. We’re broken sinners and not being the humans that God created us to be. We’re not living in perfect unity as we should be. And unfortunately, sin is a crime and has to be punished. We need to pay for all the things we did. Just like if you broke the law and had to appear before a judge, you’d have to pay for it in some way. Unfortunately, for sin, that punishment is death. (Romans 6:23a) And I’m not talking the human death we’ll all die one day, but second death. Hell.

Now I don’t know if you’ve heard about Hell, but it is not a place you want to spend eternity. And if you do, you’re either crazy or don’t know what it is. But this is what we all deserve for breaking God’s law. God says no matter what we do, we can’t fix it, we can never be good enough and that we need to quit trying. Our good works will never make up for the bad. They’re like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)

However, here is the Good News: that while God doesn’t need us and could just send us all to Hell, he chooses not to live without us. He loves us too much. So God rolled up His sleeves and took it upon himself and came here in the form of Jesus and became 100% man while still being 100% God. He lived the life we were supposed?to live for us. He was the human we were expected to be because we couldn’t be. He lived it?perfectly. He never lied, never stole, never committed adultery nor did he blasphemy God’s name as you and I have. ?(2 Corinthians 5:21)

And He loved us in one of the greatest and unique ways. He gave us the greatest gift that we don’t deserve. He suffered the punishment we do deserve for us, so we didn’t have to.?He gave up His life so we could?have eternal life. We no longer have to feel guilt or shame and live with regrets. He paid for all our sins. The past, present, and future.

Jesus wasn’t a victim; he was a willing volunteer. He knew what pain he’d have to suffer, though, but he still went to the cross because he loves you that much. You were worth it. You’re still worth it. He had known you before you were even born and thought you were worth suffering for. You did absolutely nothing to earn it or make Him do it. (Romans 5:8)

The best part? He rose again from the grave three days later. This was the victory. (1 Corinthians 15:14) Jesus conquered sin and death. His resurrection was proof that our debt is paid in full. What he?changed everything for you and me when he did what he did. All we simply need to do is believe and trust in Him. (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:28)

This is the Gospel.

Because of this we are free. We can just be us. We can come to God just as we are. A broken, dirty mess. You don’t need to clean yourself up. We don’t need to work for God’s love. He just wants you. God see us just as we are and says “I want you. All of you. Even every screwed up part of you.” And he wants to take it from us. He wants us to give him all of that broken, dirtiness. That’s all we have to offer him. And he will make us clean. He will make us righteous. And not because of something we did, but merely as a gift. We just have to accept it. (2 Corinthians 9:15)

So I’ll ask again: how can you not love Jesus?