Posts

Showing posts from February, 2019

Hey!!! PSST!!

Do You Know? Redemption is not cheap, It came with a price, The price was steep That price was a life, That Life was Christ’s.
Redemption is not weak, It required such a might, Such an unparalleled strength To know He would die That Death was Christ’s
This truth we must speak As our eyes behold Light, That Death could not keep Our hope sealed up tight, That Hope is in Christ.
Oh, that all would believe, That Love came to right, This world ‘s deep seated need For a Way back to Life, That Love is Christ.
The Way, the Truth, the Life.

Overcome Evil with Good!

The last five verses of Romans chapter 12 are not the easiest to always get right as a believer. Sometimes applying these five verses to daily life, especially when we have been wronged, is not as forthcoming as we would like. Anger from having been wronged wins out which leads to some form of payback, and yeah, I suppose a resentment that grows into a cold shoulder is a form of revenge. In that light, so is that finger thrust into the windshield when we get cut off in traffic.
     For me, applying these verses sometimes feels like having to get up at four am, on a cold January morning and drive half-way to work while the car refuses to heat up. Even praying for God to take the anger away is a lot like having my hand up to the vent in that space of time where I’m not sure if the heat is blowing or if my hand has just gone numb. It’s like, “I am still pretty angry, God. I think I may be getting over it, not really sure. Wish you would just take the anger from me. Is this prayer…

Be of Kind-Mind!

“Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.” Romans 12:16 NASB
     It’s easy to get caught up in how the world operates. Especially now with the way social media lets everyone have a voice. I am for having a voice. However, a lot of times, what we see is not helpful or even cordial toward one another. A positive post that is uplifting and edifying can be overlooked while a post that smears someone has a million views and thousands of hateful comments. As believers, we are called to be set apart from that and to be different with one another.
     One thing God has made clear to me through the course of my life is everything except redemption and all that comes with receiving God’s gift of salvation is fleeting. If we are blessed to see old age, the super-smart must contend with losing memories just as those whom the culture labels as intellectually lacking. The well-to-do person who looks dow…

Fair-weather Friends?

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep,” Romans 12:15 NASB
     It is easy to rejoice with those who are rejoicing. We celebrate the couple that are having the baby. Congratulations spill out of us with relative ease. We are excited for them. The couple getting married or just married, we relish the sweetness of new matrimony and find ourselves smiling at how those friends who just tied the knot are still in their honeymoon phase. Even schooling! My wife recently graduated from her bachelors’ program and I was overjoyed to see how people congratulated her hard work, there was even a card and cake! There is something about rejoicing with others that makes us feel good.
     However, it is not the same when it is with those that are weeping. How many of us see tears and immediately want to go the opposite direction? How often have we sat through the heart-wrenching sadness that someone else is experiencing and wept with them even though it is uncomfortable? There…

Bless and Do Not Curse

When you think about persecution, what comes to mind? Maybe it was that coach who hounded you through High School. For some of us, it was probably that click of people through our childhood years that tormented us in the halls of our schools. Maybe it’s a manager or boss, or even a spouse? Whatever persecution looks like to you, let it resonate inside for a moment. How does it make you feel when you think about it and the mistreatment? How does it feel when people are hostile toward you? When they harass you? Make fun of you?
     Whatever persecution looks like to you, for me, I have all manner of instances that come to mind. Yet, none of them matter when I think about the persecution that Jesus contended with. I am not making light of our struggles and this is not an over-spiritualized ‘we should just accept our plight’ sort of declaration. Our struggles are real. Be it the way other people look down on us because our situation is not the norm, or the way they cut us to the core…

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…