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Christ's Love on the Cross Changes Everything!

There is Hope! Perservere!

I know…no Scripture header! What is this blog coming to? Today, we are looking at Romans 12:12-13. But, I ask that you take the time to either pull it up in the YouVersion app or turn to it in your Bible.
     I’ve struggled with these verses both as a Believer and long before I ever accepted Christ. I’ve had to work hard on my prayer life and feel it’s finally become a serious strength. I pray quietly to myself, as well as out loud around my house and in the car. But, I admit that I have struggled with rejoicing in hope at times. I have struggled with persevering in tribulation. Sometimes, I’ve felt like my contribution to the needs of the saints has really amounted to nothing and entertaining strangers is not one of my spiritual gifts. However, much like my prayer life, these are spiritual disciplines that I have had to cultivate as a follower of Christ, and that I am still cultivating daily.
     It’s not easy. In fact, there have been times I tried throwing in the towel al…

fer*vent adj. "having or displaying a passionate intensity"

“Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11 NASB
     In the moments where I’ve been full-swing into the lows of depression, I know I have seriously lagged in diligence, been lackluster in spirit and straight up tanked when it came to my serving the Lord. It is hard when those waves of self-loathing, anxiety and heaviness of heart hit. What is harder is not wanting to bother or be bothered, which is interesting because the words lagging behind in the Greek can be understood as grievously slothful. That is like saying dangerously apathetic, gravely lethargic, and seriously sluggish. Those words paired together sound a lot like what I have experienced amid my clinical depression. Paul is basically telling us that we are not to give into this, we are to serve the Lord and one another with a fervent spirit and love.
     Now, whether Paul had depression in mind when he wrote that statement, I can not say. That is the application I glean from it. As I…

DEVOTED

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” Romans 12:10 NASB
     I am going to jump out on a limb and say none of us have a problem doing this, right? Every single one of us that call ourselves followers of Christ—we all live this verse out daily, right? I know, if you are like me, it is difficult sometimes. Personally, I get stuck on that word devoted. I spent half my life being devoted to surviving. Now, granted, my surviving probably looks different than most. But, if you have ever lived paycheck to paycheck, ate Raman noodles so often you tried crushing them up to eat them like chips with the packet sprinkled on top, or faced odds stacked against you so high that despair became as normal as breathing—you can probably relate.
     This verse isn’t talking about that sort of devotion, though. It’s talking about the loving affection sort of devotion. The kind we have toward our spouse, our kids, our loved ones. And, the real kicker I found…
Experience how God can save and redeem ALL OF US no matter what we have been through! Encounter Christ in this Easter Service and know that NO MATTER WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN, WHAT YOU HAVE DONE, or WHO WHO YOU HAVE BEEN:

CHRIST'S LOVE ON THE CROSS CHANGES EVERYTHING!
Encounter - Week 3 from Journey Community Church on Vimeo.

Love Like God!

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9 NASB.
     I wonder how many of us have struggled with someone that reminds us of this verse? Someone whose love is just three hollow words and a sidestep of what is good? I wonder if we can look at ourselves for a moment and see our own loveless hypocrisy? Our spiteful two-facedness? That calloused drive to do the wrong things? When I lived according to the sinfulness of my flesh, I had more self-loathing and hypocrisy than I care to admit. Especially when love is taken to mean benevolence, affection and good will; and hypocrisy is understood as insincere, feigned and artificial.
     Before I understood what God’s grace did for me and still does for me daily, I had a lot of self-hatred. I hadn’t experienced the genuine love of God where I sincerely knew He had my best interest at heart. With my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Clinical Depression, I experienced cycles of this overwhelming sense …

What Are You in the Body of Christ?

“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12: 4-8 NASB.
     I have heard Romans 12:4-8 preached on a few times as a believer. I have even soaked up some messages where sports analogies were used even though sports aren’t my thing. The sports messages make sense and I can get it logically, but it has always been hard for me to connect with the sports parallels because I’m simply not into sports. This past week, though, when listening to a sports analogy on this passage, I conn…

Measure of Faith

“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think morehighly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have soundjudgement, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith,” (Romans 12:3 NASB, emphasis added).
     Recently, I’ve had the privilege to start doing research on Billy Graham. It’s for a project that I am doing on historical leaders and what they have contributed to the Christian faith. Amid that research, Billy Graham has quickly become a major inspiration to me. In fact, I was not sure where I was going next with this blog until I was blessed to hear a High School and a Middle School Youth Pastor discussing Romans 12:3-4 night before last. It was then that it occurred to me, why not keep on with Romans 12?
     What does that have to do with Billy Graham, you ask? Well, everything. To be 100%, it hit me two nights ago after sharing what I’d learned about Billy Graham backstage and then hearing the two Youth Pastor’s respective messag…