October 24, 2012

The Truth of God's Wonder

Ephesians 4:25 ESV
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 

The work that Christ does in our hearts is truly miraculous.  Christ gave himself up for me so that I may be made new, by putting away all falsehood, and instead, living in the light of truth; recognizing that truth only comes from God, the creator of all things.  Who am I, to challenge the truth of God's spoken word?  He is the sovereign God who gave me the ability to contemplate Him, confront my deceitful heart, and marvel at my souls eternal existence.  The wonder of God defines the truth that I pursue.  I also find beauty in knowing that I will never be able to fully comprehend this truth and the God that loves me, like only a father can.  This passage of scripture makes me think of love.  What a broad thing love can be, especially when I recognize that God is the author of it.  Fortunately for me, I was raised in an environment that expressed this to me.

In Ephesians 4, Paul takes us on a crucial and life changing journey.  It so crucial that we put away our old way of life, of thinking, of acting, of responding and take on a new mind and heart, that comes directly from Christ.  Sometimes I forget that Christ is far more than just words on a page, or truths once told to me by my family and friends.  When I surrendered my life to Christ, and admitted that I was a sinner, I received the Holy Spirit.  The same spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead entered my life, so that, my soul would be realigned with God's heart, and God's desires.  That experience is crucial, and that experience is life changing

Paul says we are to "speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another."  Previously, I had said that the wonder of God defines the truth that I pursue.  If this is what I seek, according to Paul, this is also what I must share with the world around me.  One of the best ways to infect the world with wonder of God is to first, be in authentic awe of God. 

Psalm 8:1-4 ESV
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

I pray that when I look at the moon and the stars, that I would stand in awe of God's hugeness and magnificence.  Once I am there, staring into the eyes of God's creation, I see his character and am filled with his love.  I realize how small I am and how sovereign He is, and yet, he chooses to work in my life everyday and every moment.  This experience is what will infect the world with the truth of God's wonder because your heart begins to overflow.  God is not just enough, He is abundantly more than you could ever ask for or imagine.  

I want to make sure I take the time to stand in awe of God's magnificence so that I can infect the world with the truth of God's wonder. I can only do this with a heart that is overflowing from the grace that God has so abundantly poured out upon me.

October 23, 2012


~Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV~
to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Life has been interesting lately.   I use the word interesting because it seems to be the only word broad enough to encompass everything running through my mind.  I struggle with relationships, and sometimes a misunderstanding of what true friendship is.  I struggle with busyness and filling my life with things that are, in my eyes, important.  I struggle with wanting to be abundantly successful at everything I do.  With friends, I often find satisfaction in completion instead of quality. - "Well I did this, for this friend... that's good enough right? Yeah okay."  These patterns are, to me, signs of my former manner of life.  They are all thoughts and actions that scream out MY name, not Gods.  It is so easy to let selfishness creep into my life and forget that selfishness is the foundation of sin.  It brings forth what my hard heart desires, and chokes out the only source of light, being fed into my life.  I am ready to be renewed.

I think it is important for me to ask myself what it really looks like to be renewed in my life right now.  In the verse above it shows us that when we are renewed, we live in our new self which is created after God's righteousness and holiness.  Before stating that, it says we must be renewed in the spirit of your mind.  THAT is what I need right now.  Sometimes I let myself forget that I am a broken and messed up human being who's original nature is set on opposing God.  My life is set on opposing God because I strive to nurture my own desires, instead of His.  I am ready to be broken before God so that, my mind can be renewed, so that I may reflect the true nature of God's righteousness and holiness, and so that I can experience true freedom and purpose that only comes through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.

When I see the world through Christ's sacrifice, I am humbled and optimistic about God's plan for my life. By seeing the importance of my circumstances, I discover the vital piece that they play in changing who I am, in hopes of changing the hurting world around me.  I may struggle with relationships, but I have a relationship with the living God who's love never stops being poured out upon me.  That realization gives me strength to love my friends in a NEW way.  It motivates me to give more to the people in my life, when I remember that God has given me everything.  I no longer find satisfaction in completion, but instead, by listening to the Holy Spirit when He says go there or, rest now.  I no longer find happiness in success, because I realize that the only reason I am able to know a perfect God is because of His perfect sacrifice for me.  I don't NEED to be successful when Christ has already given me overwhelming victory over circumstances and over my sin.

Thank you God for renewing my life today and everyday.

May 29, 2012

Receiving and Believing

Mathew 13:13-17

13 That is why I use these parables,
   For they look, but they don’t really see. 
      They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.
   14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,
   ‘When you hear what I say, 
      you will not understand. 
   When you see what I do, 
      you will not comprehend. 
   15 For the hearts of these people are hardened, 
      and their ears cannot hear, 
   and they have closed their eyes— 
      so their eyes cannot see, 
   and their ears cannot hear, 
      and their hearts cannot understand, 
   and they cannot turn to me 
      and let me heal them.
   16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.

When I found this verse I stopped to think about what I had just read.  I thought about all of the different messages that have been spoken to me through out the years and all of the substance that each one of those messages contained.  I believe that God appoints leaders and speakers to speak His truth into other peoples lives for a purpose.  God was speaking to ME in those moments.  What if I TRULY received everything that I heard? What if I took it a step further than "a belief" and REALLY started to believe what God told me? I know that if I really started to receive and believe what God tells me everyday that I would be and will be in the middle of a move of God.

This concept really hits home for me and I believe that there are many other people who can relate.  I didn't have a rough childhood or get into trouble all that often, but I can honestly tell you that I have experienced the difference between actively believing in something, and "a belief".  A belief is a phrase, but believing is a lifestyle.  A belief is a thought, but believing is when you do something with that idea.  I can also tell you that I have experienced the difference between hearing and receiving.  When you hear something you think about it for a time, but when you whole heartedly receive something it changes who you are and how you live out your life everyday.  I know for a fact that there are many people who have heard the Gospel and about the love of Jesus, but they have never let Him change their heart.  Our hearts start to change when we allow God to touch our lives in a real and personal way.

I was recently presented with the opportunity to speak truth into my classmates at Lake Nona Highschool.  In English we were to write a song, and it could be about whatever we wanted it to be about.  I saw this as an opportunity to share my faith with my peers and to challenge them to make the most of their life that has been given to them.  So I wrote this song about how God desires for all of His children to come to a knowledge of Him, but that can only happen when we choose to listen and receive what He has done for us. Below is that song.

We will only experience God's love when we personally take TIME to receive from Him and let Him change who we are.  If you have a relationship with the lord, ask for Him to show His love to you everyday so that you can INFECT the world around you with the love of Jesus Christ.  If you don't REALLY know God in your life, I pray that you will take the time to really receive from God and start living a lifestyle of believing; a lifestyle of radical faith.  God is standing in your direction with arms wide open waiting for you to turn around and fall into His embrace.  I pray that we can discern hearing from receiving and "a belief" from believing and as the church, we WILL change the world.