“I struggle to always and actually keep in step with the Spirit moment by moment. To submit and give up everything truly is radical and terrifying. However, when I think deeply about it, walking in my own wisdom, contrary to the Spirit’s leading, is even more frightful. Though I struggle, I know that ultimately I want nothing more than to live in total surrender and abandonment to the Spirit every moment I have left on this earth.”—Francis Chan
Being a real man in this generation means that we don’t allow our past to control our present by coming up with an excuse to hide our mistakes. Instead, we need to accept responsibility for our actions, identify what needs to be corrected, and set about being the men God wants us to be. It’s my contention that when men decide to grow up and get to know God and apply his truths to their lives, they truly will need no more excuses!
When Daniel was in the midst of the lion’s den…God was with him. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the midst of the fiery furnace…God was with them. It would have been perfectly easy for God to immediately transport these saints out of their difficulties, but no, He chose instead to be with them in the midst of their trials. God chose to reveal His power through the trials instead of exercising His power to remove them.
Trials and difficulties are simply a part of life and quite honestly, the longer I walk with the Lord the bigger these trials become. But how do we react when our faith is challenged by these adversities? James 1:2 says to count it all joy! What could possibly be joyful about difficult situations? Painful, yes…but joy??
Yet, somehow, I do find joy in knowing, and even sensing that God is with me in the midst of my problems — in the midst of my trials. He did promise never to leave or forsake me; and as I look over my life, I find it to be absolutely true…no matter what crazy situation I’m in, God is with me.
We all have this decision: either to complain because of the trials we’re enduring…or to prayerfully lift our souls before him (Psalm 25:1) …and rejoice in the midst of our troubles — knowing, believing, and even feeling, that God is with us, now…always…all the way!
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
In the Greek olympic games of old, a unique race was run. The winner was not the runner who finished first — it was the runner who finished with his torch still lit!
There are times in our lives when we feel like we just can’t continue in the race. These are precisely the times when the enemy loves to assault us to the point of breaking and torment us saying “You’ll never make it to the finish line, you may as well just quit now”. This is the time we need to cling on to God’s promises! The Lord will soon reward our diligence for all our toiling here in this world. Paul said, “Let us not grow weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we do not faint”.
Let’s allow God’s wonderful promises to strengthen and comfort us in each circumstance so that we can run the race — not to finish first, but to run together, side by side — the flame of our torch reaching the finish line blazing brightly with fire for Him!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Hey brother, am really impressed with your knowledge of God and His word. I thank God for you man, continue doing what you doing bro! God bless
You know what the funny thing is, i am in school for biblical and theological studies, but the more i learn, the more i understand how much i don’t know. lol but thanks i appreciate it! i pray you continue in the mission as well!
A random (RARE) promotion to show my gratitude and thanks to everyone else who has been following me, even those who have watched this blog grow from the beginning. My prayer for this blog is that those who follow, and those who find this blog, will be blessed and encouraged to seek the Lord and will feel uplifted and edified! I pray God continues to use me through this blog and speaks to you all from this computer to yours!
Have you ever noticed that when people are in love, they tend to forget everything else? Everything becomes secondary — cars, houses, money — nothing matters — it is all secondary to love. Then, when they fall out of love, as in a divorce, all of a sudden those things mean everything! They argue about all the little meaningless things they ever owned together. Each wants it all for himself.
The same is true with the Lord. Before we know Him, all we really have are possessions. But when we come to know God — truly know Him — those things mean very little — we’re in love! We’re willing to give up everything. Those people who are most in love with God and filled with His love are the least possessive and the least materialistic.
If we have been wrapped up in our possessions, we’ve lost sight of our greatest treasure! All that stuff means nothing. Let go of it. Return to your first love. Lighten your heart and fall in love again with the love of God!
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
I suppose one of the hardest questions to answer is: “Why do I have to deal with so much adversity?!”
Quite honestly, one of the best answers I’ve ever come across was written by C.S. Lewis in his book, Mere Christianity. Lewis likened God’s use of adversity to walking a dog. If the dog gets its leash wrapped around a pole and tries to continue running forward, he will only tighten the leash more. Both the dog and the owner are after the same end: forward motion. But the owner must resist the dog by pulling him opposite of the direction that he wants to go. The master, sharing the same intention, but understanding better than the dog where he really wants to go, takes an action precisely opposite to that of the dog’s will. It is in this way that God uses adversity!
We really don’t like being pulled and corrected by the Lord — but when we understand there’s a greater purpose involved, then we can pass through adversity with hope, expectation and steadfastness knowing these events are for our greater good!
Let’s learn from the trials and tribulations we go through because God has a purpose in them. We may not enjoy it, but when all’s said and done, enduring trials faithfully will produce perseverance, character, and hope. And hope will not disappoint us for the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit…[Romans 5:4-5] We truly can trust in the God who loves us with an everlasting love because He knows the direction we need to go, AND He knows exactly how to get us there!
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I saw your name on a list of rebloggers so I decided to follow you..lol. But I love your blog. I also read your testimony and I just loved it. When I started reading it I just got so excited because I loved the way that God used you. Your testimony gave me the confirmation that God uses us through many different life experiences and i'm glad you used yours to glorify God. You're a blessed man and I see Jesus all over you. God Bless!
I pray all the more that people, just like yourself, see Jesus when they look at me. and those areas that he is not evident, (which there are some since i am still just human) i pray he does away with. Thank you for this message of encouragement!]
Just wanted to say after reading your testimony its really helped me see what I've been through is nothing compared to that. And its awesome to see how inspirational your blog is!
Don’t compare mine to yours! The people you can reach with your testimony are people i am unable to reach with mine and vice versa! What God did in your life is just as powerful as what he did in mine. The message of salvation has power within itself! Be encouraged and go forth to feed his sheep!!
One of His greatest promises to us is that nothing can separate us from the love of God. No tribulation or distress we might ever suffer can obliterate the power of His love to carry us through!
This tells me so clearly that I cannot read God’s love for me by my circumstances alone, and that’s often my greatest temptation: “How could a loving God allow this to happen to me?” But the Lord never promised we would escape hardship, persecution, poverty or danger — (in fact, He promised the opposite); the promise is that His love for us would be greater than any and all circumstances we might have to endure. Consider the life of Yeshua (Jesus). He went to the cross and died an excruciating death — He didn’t escape difficulties — He experienced them more than anyone could ever imagine! So, allow His death to settle any questions you have about the love of God!
Don’t ever judge God’s love for you based on circumstances alone, but rather evaluate your circumstances from God’s point of view: Love. It’s His main motive for everything that happens to you.
Romans 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
to those who prayed for me in regards to the sermon i was prepping! It went well and i got great feedback so i know God decided to use me!
On another note, i will post up another devotional shortly, hopefully it will encourage you all! I won’t tell you what it is about but you can read it shortly ;)
ALSO, I am very hungry - so Raman noodles it is. (not sure why i decided to tell you all that)
Hope you all are doing well. I feel like i lost contact with a great majority of you so i hope your all healthy and continuing on the narrow road that leads to life!
For those of you that have sent me messages, i apologize, i rarely check my messages. i even got into this bad habit of reading the message then saying “ill respond in a second” and then not responding because i got distracted by other things..and then the messages just pile up. Anyone want a job as a secretary?
Now i will type up the manuscript, then make a skeleton copy (the basic outline) and pray that God will use me.
WHERE DO YOU COME IN?
My Bible says that “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” -James 5:16 So if i could simply ask you all to pray for me, not just ‘like’ this post or say “I’m praying for you”, but actually take about 7 seconds and ask God to use me and allow me to be his mouthpiece, i would sincerely, very greatly appreciate it! 7 seconds isn’t too much to ask for i hope =] God Bless you all friends!
Hey, just wanted to say your post dealing with following through with Jesus blessed me to the extent of allowing me with the ammunititon of assurance to go through a trial i've been wrestling with God for too long. God Bless you
I hope you don’t mind me posting this publicly, but i wanted everybody to see the ways that God is able to speak through us to help out the body of Christ on social networks such as tumblr! Praise God he was able to get your attention through my post, only his doing, and i encourage everyone to continue to glorify God through your blogs because it does touch lives! LET HIS LIGHT SHINE! Thank you for this, i worship because i have been used for his purpose!
When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on water – he literally stepped out of the boat! Imagine that! But was Peter going overboard? No, I don’t believe so — he was literally taking a step of faith with his eyes fixed on the Lord!
Often, when we step out in faith – it may appear that we are going overboard, but are we really? Honestly, the question is — “Can you really go overboard in your faith toward God?” I don’t think so! When our passion is no longer on the Lord, then that’s when we’re going overboard.
When you love the Lord God with “all your heart, mind and soul”– it’s okay to step out and go all out for God — because in God, the only way to go overboard is to not go overboard enough!
Matthew 14:28-31 And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it is you, command me to come to You on the water. And He said, “Come.” And when Peter got out out of the boat, he walked on the water, to go to Yeshua (Jesus). But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Yeshua (Jesus) stretched out His hand, and caught him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
If you were being persecuted (and that persecution involved slander, reviling, mocking and insults) for being a Christian, how would respond bravely? I ask because I want to have ways in which to bravely respond when I get persecuted for my faith.
What better way to respond to persecution for Christ than with the Logos of God himself. Study scripture and hide the word in your heart, when you pull out scripture, it will give you that bravery because you know your speaking truth and you are confident in what you stand up for.
What other response holds the same power that the word of God holds?
Knowing He was about to depart, Yeshua (Jesus) left His disciples with a final command: stay in Jerusalem, and wait…for the promise. Of the thousands who had witnessed His miraculous ministry and heard His amazing teaching, and the hundreds that had actually seen Him after the resurrection, we read in Acts that only 120 stayed and tarried until the promise arrived. But these 120 were steadfast. They waited the full term…
What would have happened if they had left after the 4th day? Or the 6th day? Or the 9th day? They would have missed the promise and the amazing blessing that came with it. But those 120 believers stayed – they stayed and pressed in until the Holy Spirit came!
Do you want the fullness of the Spirit in your life? Continue pressing in. Wait with relentless faith and patience. Perseverance is often the critical factor in receiving the promises of God. Our Lord will fulfill every good promise in His perfect time.
Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
In one passage in John, Mary and Martha come running to Jesus, asking Him to heal Lazarus, who was critically ill. Since Lazarus was a good friend of Jesus, I’m sure they were expecting that Jesus would come immediately to his aid. The scripture says, however, that Jesus stayed two more days in the place where He was. It was in those two days that Lazarus died.
It’s so hard to understand why it is that God waits to do the things we ask of Him. It’s good for us to remember, though, that He has His purposes for waiting. God was about to teach everyone involved a much deeper lesson here. As Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He made sure they all understood that He is the resurrection and the life for all who believe.
God has His perfect timing for everything under heaven. You may be waiting for God to intervene in some area of your life. You may have been begging and pleading with God for years on that particular thing. But we can relax and know that God’s timing is perfect. We never know what God is doing behind the scenes, in order that our joy would be made full. Remember that He knows best what would bless us most and He is working all things for those of us who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
Relax. God is in control. He has greater things for you than what you could ask or think!
Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Why do Unbelievers see Jesus as a joke? Because the Church body lives as if he is one.
The way you live your life is the biggest way to evangelize. You can pour 1000 sermons into someones ear but if they look at the way you live and don’t see Jesus reflected in that, how can they come to take him seriously as well?