“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”
I’m super thankful to be able to share these messages with you! As much as these truths in God’s Word helps me and encourages me, I share these with the hope that they may be an encouragement to you also and build you up closer and stronger with the Lord! These verses today came from my youth pastor from earlier years, he’s been sending out daily verses for years and years now. Since I’ve been in high school which is awhile ago so it’s awesome how encouragement flows through and out of the Word! Gosh dang God’s Word is awesome and I’m super thankful for each and everyone of you!
I was having one of those mornings today, didn’t get much sleep, didn’t want to be at work, was mad at the world and walked around throwing a pity party for myself saying “oh poor me.” For a moment I wanted to be mad, I wanted to act how I thought I deserved to act, which was sorry for myself and mad. Then these verses came up!!! The context surrounding these verses is living the new life we have in Christ. Then it hit me all at once! I was looking at verse 17 thinking how can I represent Christ by what I do? Then saw the end of the verse, “giving thanks to God.” For a moment I was like, well, I don’t have anything to be thankful for right now. Because I was listening to the enemy pour lies into my head, saying “I’m tired, I deserve to have a bad attitude, I don’t want to be here.”
It hit me why I should be thankful and verse 1 finished it off, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” My identity was in how I felt and my circumstances instead of where my true identity is. Realizing I’ve been raised to new life with Christ, WOW! Setting my sights above on Him and what He’s done, the pain, the sacrifice, the blood He bled all so I could have life with Him in abundance and for eternity!!! He didn’t do that so I could roll around in my self pity, have a bad attitude that is a cancer to others around me, and feel like a victim, “poor old me.”
Realizing my true identity in Christ and what it took to give me this identity, started having some pep in my step, a little bit of swagger! I’ve heard this a million times but now it makes so much sense, your identity forms your actions and attitude. After seeing where my identity was, WITH CHRIST, my actions and attitude began to do a 360! I’m a child of God, forgiven, loved, free and victorious child of God, so every action I take and every word I speak is as a representative of Jesus Christ. When we live with our eyes set high and your identity in Christ, your actions and attitude begin to change drastically. It doesn’t matter how you feel or how bad your circumstances are, that’s not your identity. Your identity is in Christ, unlike your feelings or circumstances that will NEVER change! So there’s no excuse to not live in complete thankfulness of this new life and identity with Jesus that He has sacrificed Himself to give you! Instead of looking at situations throughout your day and saying “ugh, I have to go to work, I have to do this or that,” when eyes high in your new ID, “I have to” quickly changes to “I GET TO.”
This just isn’t for when you’re feeling down or having one of those days, this is every moment of every day. I was at work trying to be a better serve the Lord better and be a rep for Him but I couldn’t do it. So often I find myself trying to fix my circumstances, my feelings, and change my attitude and actions but it’s impossible to change WHAT you do if you don’t even know WHO you are. Your identity, who you are, forms your actions and attitude.
Think with me on this for a second, can you imagine what living in your true identity with Christ, making decisions as a representative of Jesus Christ Himself, serving Him in thankfulness for the LIFE He’s given you. Just think what happens the more you live in this truth?!?!!! Think about all the change you’ve been wanting to make to what you do, your actions, bad habits, addictions, attitude. If you know WHO you are are, the WHAT’s in your life will take care of themselves. The more decisions you make from this truth today will bring you closer and closer to being who God has made you to be tomorrow!!! Let’s get it today!!!! Live in the truth of WHO you are!!!! The WHAT’s will be right behind ya!
“Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes.”
Heard multiple sermons from the book of Acts today. In Acts there is so much wild stuff going on, you’ve got the beginning of the early church, the Holy Spirit is brought upon believers, disciples are scattering out everywhere to spread the Gospel, 3,000 people get saved at Pentecost and in Acts 3 through the power of the Holy Spirit, a lame man who hasn’t been able to walk his whole life jumps up and takes off running around praising the Lord! It’s safe to say that during this time it was quite a time to be a Christian!
The biggest lesson learned all day looking at these crazy miracles that have taken place, it’s easy to look at the miracles and think we’ve got the Holy Spirit dwelling within us right? Why don’t we see or make miracles happen like this? Or we get upset and feel like we’re not good enough if we can’t do what these guys were doing. The big lesson throughout these sermons today was screaming at me right in my face!!!! It’s not about me, it’s not about you, it’s not about Peter or any of these apostles, IT’S JESUS!!!!! And only JESUS!!!! That’s it. Miracles of healing seem so crazy and huge but when you look to what was at the root of these miracles and people getting saved, IT’S JESUS!!!!
You know what’s so encouraging and gives so much freedom to our lives? Knowing that we don’t have to go out and work ourselves to death trying to make miracles happen, try to heal ourselves from personal addictions or struggles, heal someone else. we don’t have to base our power and expectations off of what we’ve got because it doesn’t matter either way.
With faith in the name of Jesus Christ, that’s where miracles happen big or small, healing takes place, walls of addictions are knocked down, literally anything is possible!!! How awesome is it that we can rest in the peace, joy, and security we have in having the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us and a personal relationship with the Son of God?!?!? There are plenty of principles, cool ways to say things or interpret scripture but at the end of the day God’s Word always brings us back to the source of the power and faithfulness of God which is seen in our lives through Jesus Christ! Before we can ever see the WHAT happen in our lives, we first have to sit back and recognize the WHO which is Jesus Christ! With Jesus at the lead, there ain’t no telling what’ll happen next but I promise you it’s going to be daggum awesome!!!! It’s JESUS CHRIST, just Jesus!!!!
Found this little story on http://godslittleacre.net/funnies/ and thought it was too good not to share. I usually try to find some humor for ya on the Son-day Surprise but this story just ends up being…..well you’ll see! Hope everyone has a great Sunday getting fed from the Word and worshiping the One who deserves it all!!! I don’t know if you can see it or feel it yet but I got a feeling this upcoming week is going to be a good one! Let’s rest and prepare today so we can get up and get after it on Monday! Look Velma Lou got that thumbs up! She agrees! Love y’all!
“I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money! Twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.
Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
Would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.
‘And why’s everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’
Remember…Just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian
Any more than…Standing in your garage makes you a car.”
“A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Prov. 17:22)”
“When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.”
I know yesterday I mentioned taking self-evaluation and paying attention to what you do, why you do it, what can you do better, just things of that nature. It’s wild what the Lord shows you when you ask Him to show you the truth about yourself whether it hurts or not. I’ve noticed a big thing that I’ve always struggled with especially with my time in the Word and typing these messages, I like to complicate things. You know what I’m talking about? The truth could be staring me right in the face, x+y=z, but I start thinking like I’m Einstein, overthinking really, and by the end of writing out this big huge formula, I lose track of the simple answer, just z. In our case, at times we can find ourselves doing this in our relationship with the Lord. Not that there’s even an equation to it but if there was it’d simply be this; God+you=Loving relationship with God. Everything else takes care of itself after our relationship with the Lord is connected together in loving fellowship. Whether it’s spending time with the Lord in His Word, talking to Him in prayer, or just anytime with Him. There’s no need to throw in all these other numbers and letters into the formula, it’s literally as simple as God and you, you and God. I do this with these messages but isn’t it the same as our daily walk with the Lord? We run in circles trying to make it sound better, make it prettier, throw in some stuff that makes us feel good, but at the end of the day there’s no need for all that running around. It’s a simple love with a simple Savior, who works in simple ways. That’s it. It’s simple.
Looking at these verses today from the story of Jesus feeding the multitude. There is so so much that can be taken away from this story and as much as I’d love to run you through all that, I’m afraid you’ll miss the main point, heck I’m afraid I’ll miss the main point. So simplify. Here we go. Jesus sees the crowd coming and asks Phillip this question, ““Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” The funny part about this question is Jesus already knew what He was going to do, He knew the solution. But Jesus asks Phillip anyways. And when I read Phillip’s response I thought, “hmm, that sounds familiar.” That’s such a human response. Phillip is looking at it and thinking of the solution in his horizontal human lens because yeah, it would take more than a half years pay to feed these people. He’s got Jesus, the Son of God, who has already shown them what He’s capable of right in front of him but in realistic terms it’s impossible. I’m sure Phillip was thinking, well we don’t even have a job, so we’d have to get on indeed, get my resume out there, find a place to work, then maybe after a half a year or so we could buy food for all these people. Jesus does this to us all the time. We have questions come up in our life, troubles or problems that test us. Jesus allows us to go off our ideas for awhile where we complicate things and run in circles. Then at the end of the day when our huge fancy ideas don’t bring a solution, we are back to Jesus asking, “well Lord, I thought that plan was bulletproof but it wasn’t, what do you think we should do?”
ENTER JESUS. Jesus uses this test for Phillip and the tests we undergo to show us to lift our eyes from the horizontal because our answers are vertical. Not in what we physically see but what we believe and trust in, Who is out of this world, Jesus! We complicate it and try to do things our way but it’s simple. Jesus is right there, the Son of God is RIGHT THERE in front of us and we still so often find a way to look past Him. Jesus shows by feeding these people that we don’t have to trust in Jesus to meet our physical needs but that He is the BREAD OF LIFE, Jesus will meet our every need. The answers sometimes seem so far away or impossible to see but HEY, look in front of you, look into God’s Word, speak to the Lord and connect with Him through your prayer phone. With a relationship with the Son of God, we no longer have to look to our capabilities or our witty plans to meet our needs, we just have to trust. Trust that Jesus is going to provide just like He did yesterday and has done so many days before. It’s so stinkin simple it blows my mind!!! Jesus is the answer, the one and only answer we’ll ever need, the answer that solves all our problems and takes what we see as “so little” and turns it into more than you need! Jesus gives us a simple message here. Go to Him for your answers. He’s right there in front of you. Trust Him. He will provide in ways that you never could’ve imagined. Why? Because He’s Jesus and He loves you. That’s it but that’s plenty.
I had a thought pop up earlier that’s been popping up a lot lately. “It’s not about me, it’s bigger than me.” This thought has brought forth a lot of self-reflection and the Lord has shown me many different areas of my life where I have lived in the exact opposite way of that thought, “it’s all about me, I’m bigger than everything else.” See that thought sounds crazy and you’ll probably think, “that’s not me, no way.” Take a second and take some self-evaluation. Some questions to ask:
Who do I base the majority of my decisions off of?
Who do I think about more than anyone?
Who do I devote the majority of the time I have in my life to?
When is the last time I literally went out of my way to help someone outside of me?
If you broke down your walls for a second, the answers were probably pretty convicting. Being centered around self can have a blinding affect to it. I didn’t want to admit how selfish I truly was until the more I thought about it, the more I could see how self-centered and self seeking I truly am. Taking evaluation from time to time can be a major asset but for it to be something that helps, you have to truthfully do it. You may not like the answers you see sometimes but that’s the point of this life with Christ. He is constantly breaking down our human ways and building us up to be more like Him. It’s easy to walk blindly through this life not knowing who you really are or who you’re becoming but Jesus says we don’t have to. His Word reveals to us our wrong and the power He has given us and works through us to move us forward in life to serve and be better for others, to be more and more like Christ, the ultimate goal. Ask yourself the hard questions and be honest in your evaluation. you may not enjoy it in the moment but the future you will love you for it. It’s humbling knowing that, “it’s not about me, it’s SO much BIGGER than me.” Dug up this old Gold from back in the day. Another example of why it’s not about me. I’m super thankful to have so many encouraging and faithful people in my life that make me better and push me closer to the Lord. My brother Justin hits on some big time truth here! Enjoy!!!
“”Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 22: 37-39
Your goals tonight made me think about this kind of love. Imagine if we loved everyone else like we love ourselves. I spend so much time making sure I have everything I need, making sure I look nice, making sure I eat what I want, making sure I have enough money. God says to love not only love your wife as yourself, your family as yourself, but to love your neighbor who you may not even know as yourself. Not only this but he’s telling us that these are his greatest two commandments. It’s hard for me to fathom the amount of resources I use for me and my family, doing the same things for a complete stranger. That’s a God kind of love that he says to put above everything else except for your love for him. What about the neighbors who cut me off in traffic, or the neighbors who stole from me, or the neighbors who said ugly things about me. Crazy thing is that’s the kind of love he showed by sending his son for not only me, but everyone that’s ever been thought of on this planet(all his neighbors)”
Ran across this song today that goes way way back! I usually share music that’s more contemporary but thanks to my Dad, he gave me a big-time Gospel music background growing up. At the end of the day, whether you claim to listen to the new stuff or the old, there’s no difference because Jesus is in both and the message is still the same today as it was back then. I remember every Sunday morning my dad would crank up some old gospel music and play it non-stop til it was time to go to church. I didn’t really pay attention much back then but it’s crazy, out all the times I heard my dad play this song. Today, it finally hit me. It’s crazy looking back I just thought he was doing his thing but he was laying a gospel foundation centered around Jesus from the very beginning. I didn’t appreciate it much then, but it’s awesome how God brings things up from the past years down the road and now after the experiences we’ve had, the struggle, heartache. and this new life with Christ. God saves us, sets us free to live victoriously through the one and only, Jesus Christ, so to the old or younger version of who we used to be, isn’t it awesome to proclaim that “thanks to calvary, I don’t live there anymore!!!” Take a listen to this old school gospel tune today and enjoy this precious gift of life Jesus has bought for us from the cross!!!
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”/Romans 5:5
So here we are, the last verse of all this Romans Gold! I had to really read over this verse so many times today to get the message and it’s so simple. This “hope” mentioned above, it isn’t the kind of hope we’re used to. Like for example, “I hope I get a red ryder bb gun from Santa this year! “I hope I don’t fail this test.” You see the problem with that hope, it’s empty. In each of those statements, there is a big chance that what you hoped for doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. This hope is the kind of hope we put in ourselves and the kind of hope we put in things of this world. You don’t know for sure if the what you hope for will actually happen because it’s hope in things that don’t always deliver, well Santa is an exception. This hope is more like a wish than anything else. It’s a hope that fails, deceives and disappoints us more times than not. The good thing is, this hope mentioned in Romans 5:5, it isn’t based on you, anything in this world or Santa Claus, it’s the hope we can have in God!
This hope never puts us to shame in any way, form, or fashion because this hope is from God and in God. God never fails us, never disappoints, and never ever deceives us because His Word is truth, He is truth! If we’ve seen anything the last few days from these verses from Romans 5, it’s that our relationship with God doesn’t depend on our faithfulness, how good we are, or who we are. Because of what Christ did for us, we can stand as clean and perfect before God, forgiven and loved by Him. Our identity is no longer in ourselves but our identity is in Christ and Christ alone, the old life and all it’s failures have been washed away and Christ has raised us to new life with Him. And the biggest thing, no matter what God loves us and is always faithful to me and you. How God loves us isn’t dependent on how we love Him or how obedient we are, He loves us eternally and abundantly through everything all of the time! How freeing does that feel?!?! Instead of spending so much time trying to do enough or trying not to mess up trying to earn this unending, unchanging and awesome love from God when we already have it!!!
When we set our hope in the God who is always loving and constantly faithful to us, the expectations of everything in our lives is elevated. The failures of yesterday and the tough situations we’re in right now mean absolutely nothing anymore. Hope in God erases those low living thoughts of defeat we so often live with. When our hope is in God, who loves us like He does, we can rest secure under His powerful presence, we can live confidently in what God has in store for us. Has He not proven His love already, sacrificing His only Son on the cross to die a death that me and you deserved just so we could have life, life in the fullest of ways, life eternally, life with Him. On top of that he’s given us the Holy Spirit living within us, the Spirit of God that helps us apply this great hope in each step we take. The Spirit guides us and reminds us of how loved we are by God! Because of the love God has for us we can put everything we have in this glorious hope! Hope in God, who is capable of literally anything, this hope raises the bar on everything in our lives. We can walk with peace, joy and get daggum excited when trials or problems come because with God, our One and only Hope, we can walk this hope out as victorious before we even see a glimpse of victory. We can live stronger, more courageous, and free in the steps we now take as loved children of God! Thank God for this hope He’s given us!!! To be completely honest, without Him I don’t have a clue how I could even get out of bed tomorrow! Let’s walk in celebration of this relationship we have with God and how much God, the Creator of all loves us so deeply and so faithfully! It’s not even Valentine’s Day yet but MAN!!! I AM FEELING THE LOVE!!!
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”
I am jacked up to share this God Gold with you today!! I’m guessing most of you have seen this movie, The Sandlot, but if you haven’t, go watch it! You can thank me later! Growing up as a ball player in a family of ball players, I couldn’t tell you how many times we watched this movie. It is so stinkin wild how God brings up some of the most random and awesome stuff to relate His powerful Word to. I’ve always been a visual learner so this was a huge help to me and I pray that it can be the same for you! Buckle up and get ready!!! This ride may get wild!!!
So we looked at Romans 5:1-2 the last couple of days and saw some awesome truth about our relationship with the Lord. Now we know our identity is in Christ, nothing can change that. Now we know that because of what Christ has done for us we can stand before God as clean and righteous, Instead of seeing God as this judgement and wrath bringing God, we learned how God see’s us through Christ is totally different from the lies we’ve believed. God says we are loved, accepted, worthy, and forgiven, He is an unchanging God and constantly faithful in His love towards us.
With our new life and identity in Christ, everything from our old life is completely reversed. With our eyes on Christ, you see the main thing that begins to be reversed and created anew within us is our thinking, or you can say our perspective. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
I was looking at this verse in Romans 5 and I saw the word “rejoice” before the words, “trials and problems.” Usually we hear trials and problems with rejoice being the last word we think of. Here is that reversal God puts on your perspective. The world view and our view says to run away from all that “bad” stuff because it might hurt you and we can’t have that. Before this scene of the movie, Smalls, the kid looking super nervous not having a clue how to catch the ball or throw it. He had showed up in left field another day before that, the other kids were playing and hit him a pop fly. With this little toy glove he was using because it was all he had, the ball came his way, he tripped and fell, missed the ball, broke his glove and was laughed right off the field by all the other kids.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve failed in a similar fashion to how Smalls failed trying to catch this fly ball. I showed up to fight my trials and dropped the missed catching the ball so bad that I looked so stupid before others, myself, and God. Because of how awful that failure was I choose to just stay away, in my comfort zone, as far away as possible from a baseball field or the chance to fail because I can’t go through that again. I can’t fail God like that again. When we do this we are making the Devil extremely happy because even he knows the truth that despite our disastrous failure and how stupid we looked, God’s view of us is still the same; loved, accepted, worthy, forgiven. So often in those moments we base our how God sees us, and our relationship with Him by our circumstances or our failure. The thing is God is an unchanging God, He loved you yesterday and still loves you today even in your failure. Remember your failures have been washed away by the blood of Christ on the cross, just because you failed again doesn’t change what He did. You’re still forgiven and you are still loved.
You see God “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,” because this world says to run from trials and problems, give up and don’t ever try again. People close to us at times even tell us to give up, stop showing up to the field because you obviously will never catch a fly ball. Usually people who speak that kind of low living negative talk into your life is are people who have already given up and have made a home in their comfort zone. The devil is happy when you believe those lies because he knows that if you believe God’s truth, everything is changed.
The truth says, you are in Christ and Christ is in you, you no longer have to show up to the field with you little baby glove to fight through your trials and problems. Walking in the truth of how God sees you, as loved, accepted and forgiven, your identity in Christ, you have a connection with God as His child, the powerful Creator of the universe. These trials and problems you face are the same as the pop fly you tried to catch yesterday but now you’ve been equipped with a new glove, God has began renewing your thinking, with your God goggles on you begin seeing life through His eyes. God reverses your perspective to show you that no longer do you have to run away, complain, or walk around defeated like a dog with his tail between his legs. God says, show up, walk onto the baseball field again and again. He shows you when you lean into Him and His power, these trials and problems don’t look nearly as horrifying as they did yesterday. He gives you what it takes to face your trials, endure faithfully and He is doing a much bigger work through you than your current circumstances look like. With your perspective in Christ, everything changes, you show up to the field again, reach your glove up with a little more confidence, and whether you drop it or not, whether the world around you is screaming “GIVE UP” or laughing at you, none of that matters because this renewing taking place in your perspective is showing you the bigger picture. Instead of just seeing bad bad bad, pain pain pain, the Lord renews your perspective to let you see that He is making you stronger with each time you show up, through each failure He is taking apart piece by piece that old life of complaining and fear to show you His will for your life. He is creating you anew and preparing you for something much greater than your current situation. He is producing new things in you, with each failure and struggle He is strengthening you in each area of your life. God is taking you through the storm to create a new, stronger, better version of you that is battle tested and more prepared to live in the plan and purpose He has for your life.
It’s so cool how everything we thought we knew, God reverses it all. Now we can rejoice when trials and problems come!! We can get excited to show up to the field and just play ball with the boys! The moment you catch the ball and experience God in a whole new light is worth all the times you showed up and failed in your trials. Being the new person God is transforming you to be is worth whatever storm you have to go through and being that new and transformed person with God is so much better than being the person who ran back home, lived in their comfort zone afraid to fail. The world may say give up and laugh at you for trying, but “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” All the goodness you see in your trial through God’s eyes may not be what they see but keep rejoicing and keep showing up, lifting that arm in the air. God will take care of it. When you catch the ball, all the laughing and lies come to a halt! Maybe even somebody’s perspective is changed to see God and what He can do, maybe they begin to step out of their comfort zones and into the MORE God has for them. Catch that ball and throw it back to the infield baby!!! Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez is about to send another fly ball your way! Keep the trials coming!!! God is making us into the best ball players around!!!!
“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.”
Just realized I promised y’all Velma Lou yesterday and she didn’t show up! She gave me a thumbs up saying she’s good now!!! Continuing in Romans 5 today moving onto verse 2! It’s really cool how God shows you more and more when you really break down His Word and dig into it! I pray this can be an encouragement to you to do the same in whatever passage because His Word truly makes such a great difference in our lives.
In Romans 5:1, we saw how understanding the truth about what Jesus has done on the cross changes so much for us in our lives. It moves us from what we think we know to the powerful life-changing truth of what happened at the cross. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross removed and forgave us of all our sin, past, present and future. We see that Jesus has made us right before God, all the guilt, all the pain, washed away. It’s not anything we can do or not do, it’s only about what Jesus has done! So now we can rest in the peace and security that we are loved and forgiven by God! We are children of God and we have been given freedom to walk in this relationship with the Father!
In verse 2 of Romans 5, we see that by our faith in Christ, believing in Jesus as the Son of God, believing in what He has done through His death and resurrection, Jesus has brought us to a new life, a life as one with Him. We definitely don’t deserve to stand as right and clean before God but because of what Jesus has done we can! Jesus has changed our identity, once we stood as a lowly, weak defeated sinner but now we are free from that life. With our faith in Christ and what He has done, God calls us His children!!!
I face this identity crisis everyday believing that I am just Jordan Rogers and thats it. I believe I’m a guy who is weak and sins, just a human. So with my belief in that identity, I usually live down to those low standards. An awesome reminder of this place Christ has brought us into, this new life with Him, raised from my old identity and now my identity is in who God says I am. John 14:20 says, ““When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” How awesome is that!!!! When we are raised to this new life in Christ, we see that Christ is one with the Father, we are in Christ as one, and He is in us so ultimately we are united as one with God. He literally lives with us and we get to live with Him. How much does that knowing that truth change for you? You’re not just a citizen of earth, you are a child of God, a citizen of Heaven!!!
With our life in Christ and Christ in us, our true identity, who God says we are is established. We are no longer a product of our past or our surroundings, we are ONE with Jesus. His presence in our lives brings life and power that breaks the chains of the sins of yesterday and sets our feet on this new journey where nothing in this world can touch us, impossible becomes more than possible, and not enough becomes more than enough! With this position Christ has brought us into as loved and forgiven children of God, God makes it clear that this identity we have now in Him and Him in us, we are a new creation, yesterday is gone and now we have this confident expectation of what God can and will do in our lives! The hope that comes from knowing who you really are is raised out of this world! The peace and comfort we have as a child of God is so amazing to just walk in throughout our days on this earth no matter what comes our way!
We are a product of our beliefs. Our behavior is a direct result of our strongest belief. If we believe that we’re just a human, a weak sinner then in return we will live like one. But if we believe the truth, the truth that the Creator of the universe tells us, then no longer do we have to listen to the lies of Satan and keep taking hits, living defeated. The truth is with faith in Christ, you are one with Christ and He is one with you, you have been adopted as a child of God. Our identity crisis is over, believe who God says you are, and you’ll live in the freedom and victory that comes with this new life and identity with Him! It’s crazy how everything becomes reversed when we stop believing that we are just who we are, all the struggles and doubts, the failures of your past, those are gone!! Instead of living as a product of yesterday and just you, know you’re not alone, you’re a child of the King!!! How you live and act today doesn’t have to be like yesterday, God has given us new steps to take, new life to live, and new hope to hold onto and this hope is renewed daily remaining new each day! Something cool I saw too is Jesus didn’t give you this new life and identity as a child of God to put your hope in one day. One day in eternity you’ll share in God’s glory, one day later in life maybe, yes those are both true but because of God’s awesome grace, you stand in this position NOW!!! We get to share in His glory right this second so there’s no point in putting your hope any farther than the next step you take because then years down the road and in eternity when we come face to face with God Himself, it will be even sweeter. Christ has given us a new identity as one with Him, a child of God, put your belief in that awesome truth that God says about you!!! Believe the truth and the truth will be written all over each step you take from this moment and each step towards eternity! Put your belief in this position Jesus has given us, walk in this new life, this grace filled confident expectation! Low living and defeat may have been yesterday’s storyline in your life but it doesn’t have to be today’s!!!!
Velma Lou bringing the good stuff to ya once again on the Son-day Surprise! I don’t know who this little lady is but I think I found my first employee at Gold Gold of the Day! It’s hard not to look at Velma Lou without smiling so the Son-Day Surprise is all hers now! Found this little Sunday Gold at http://godslittleacre.net/funnies/! Wanted to make sure to give credit where credit is due! Hope y’all enjoy it and have an awesome Lord’s day!!! Love you!!
A Quarter For Jesus?
Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston , Texas . Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change.. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, ‘You’d better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.’ Then he thought, ‘Oh, forget it, it’s only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a ‘gift from God’ and keep quiet.’
When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, ‘Here, you gave me too much change ..’
The driver, with a smile, replied, ‘Aren’t you the new preacher in town?’
‘Yes’ he replied.
‘Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday.’
When the preacher stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, ‘Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter.’
Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read. This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians, and will put us to the test! Always be on guard — and remember — You carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself ‘Christian.’
Watch your thoughts ; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits..
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Being a Christian is a whole lot like being on Candid Camera. When you least expect it, expect it!
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
I’m completely humbled to bring this message to you today. I was honestly going to put these verses up and that be it because they say it all. I’m humbled because this Word from God is so awesome and so powerful, what can I tell you that means anything more than the truths found in these Scriptures? Nothing. I started these messages because I was digging into God’s Word for the first time and I was blown away at what I found. I started typing stuff out to a buddy just to share what I got from the passage. Through that I rambled and thought my way through to see what message God had for me in those verses. That’s honestly how I learned best. I’ll be honest I had no clue what I was doing and still don’t but the more I type the more I learn. I just wanted you to know that when I send these I don’t claim to know it all, I’m just learning one word at a time. And for anyone new in the Word or wanting to dig into it deeper, I recommend writing or typing about what you’re reading. Learning from classes, teachers, or books is great but there’s something wild about what God shows you when you start putting it all on the table. Hey, even send it out to someone, start doing it with a friend daily or a few times a week, whatever works for you, it really does help! At times I’ve gotten away from reading the Word and just simply typing so this is a challenge to myself also to stay true to the Word and what God has for me. As much as I’d love to give you a 10 page God Gold on all the awesome truth these verses contain, I’m going to take these 5 verses one verse at a time for the next week. Piece by piece seeing what God wants me to see and hopefully it’s something that may help you also!
My challenge to you and me is start writing or typing something out when you spend time in the Word, pray over the Word and ask God to open your hearts and minds to receive, then write everything that comes up. It may be a lot, it may just be one sentence, it doesn’t matter. What matters is you’re one sentence closer to God and that’s one sentence of growth in your relationship with Him and in life. And part two of the challenge, please please please send me what your thoughts are on these verses, what God Gold is coming up in your brain. Like I said I have no clue what I’m doing so receiving Gold from others and hearing another perspective would be extremely encouraging and helpful! Seriously don’t be shy about it, let me know how your time in the mine went digging for Gold!!!
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.“/Romans 5:1
Geez this is awesome!!! It’s so comforting and brings so much peace to understand a little more of what Jesus has done for us. What has He done? Well for starters, Jesus died for us on the cross giving us forgiveness of our sins. Yeah, if you’re like me you’ve heard that a million times growing up but what does the cross really mean for me and you? Its easy to give a cover statement of what happened at the cross but what hit me was the part saying, “we have peace.” How come I know what happened at the cross but so many days peace is not what I feel, especially when I mess up, fail, and sin against God. All I feel is worthless, defeated, and most of all guilty. Feeling guilty is not too great of a feeling, your self-esteem and confidence are shot, hope is nowhere to be seen, joy? Not a chance. For me guilt makes me feel defeated and not only that, it lingers in me, reminds me of the times I’ve messed up in the past and tells me once again that I’m no good. Guilt can be like a cancer if left untreated, it spreads and spreads bringing nothing but more defeat in more areas of your life. The main reason I feel so guilty is because I failed God. How could the perfect and holy God love me after I’ve messed up when I know He has taught me better? How can I have peace with God if I feel so guilty all the time for failing Him?
This verse really packs a punch of truth!!! Because of what Jesus has done for us, we have been made RIGHT before God!!! Once again what has Jesus done for us? The cross. By Jesus going to the cross, laying His perfect life down and dying the death that we deserved to die, He broke the chains of sin and death that wrapped us up from the first sin in Genesis. Sin separates us from God because God is perfect and holy. As sinners we can’t stand before God, so there’s a gap between us as sinners and God. Jesus walking out the perfect life here on earth, never sinning not once, He is the only one who can stand before God. So Jesus took it upon Himself to close the gap for me and you of sin that was keeping us from standing before God and walking with Him. Jesus became the perfect sacrifice and when He died the death that me and you deserved, a sinners death on the cross, His blood completely covered our sins. Past, present, and even sins we haven’t committed yet in the future. Jesus’ blood washed us clean so therefore when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we are one with Jesus. We can walk across the bridge of Jesus and come before God because being in Christ and Christ in us, we are completely righteous, sinless, not a spot of nasty on us. So through Jesus we have access to God.
So I always heard Jesus died on the cross and forgave our sins, He literally forgave our sins, all sins. If we have been made right before God why does guilt hold us back? Jesus dying on the cross for our sins bought our freedom. Freedom from guilt, shame, and all that comes with that. It’s the truth of what happened on the cross that gives us peace. Jesus has made us right before God, innocent, not guilty. We still let sins of our past affect us, bringing sin into the present with that mindset, I’ll never change, I did it then I’ll do it again, I’m just a guilty sinner. That’s a lie straight from Satan Himself!! Jesus has covered you of all sin, you’re no longer a “sinner” you are a child of God, a child who is right before God. Although we may not feel free from sin and still commit sins, it’s knowing how God sees you and the freedom Jesus bought for you that changes that broken and defeated mindset. We aren’t products of what we’ve done or what we do, it’s what Jesus has done and that fight with guilt, sin, and defeat is done!!!
Realizing what Jesus has done for me on the cross and how God sees me because of that. That does give me so much peace. I’ve believed the lie that when I sin that I’m not worthy to even know God but God loves me just the man way I am. Knowing that I can take my sin to God, commit where I went wrong and He has forgiven me, what a peace that is. Why not keep on sinning if I’m forgiven? What’s the point? Knowing that I am loved and forgiven by God, that I can enjoy this life in freedom, peace, and joy that God has given me. Continuing to remind yourself of the fact you’re a child of God, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice to give you life and life to the fullest, that will help you move past your sin, change your behavior to living in that freedom and victory and putting that old defeated, guilty feeling lifestyle farther and farther behind. You have been made right before God, so have confidence and peace in the fact that God loves you and forgives you when you mess up! Thank Jesus for His sacrifice that gave you life, and life eternally with the Father in Heaven instead of the Hell we deserved. You are loved. You’re forgiven. You are a child of God.
“Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.”/Proverbs 4:6-7
“I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.”/Proverbs 4:11-13
I apologize about getting the message out today a little later than usual. I learned a big lesson through it and I pray it’s something that you can apply to your life and bring you closer in your relationship with the Lord. Do you ever get super busy? Ya know, just those days or weeks in life that you are covered in to-do lists, things that have to get done, and you feel like between the things to do and people to see you’re being pulled in 100 different directions. It can be extremely overwhelming.
In my younger years, which you’ll know exactly what I mean, life was easier, we lived care-free, no stress, no worries except what mom was cooking for dinner or if your parents would let you go hang with your friends or not. Life was simple and man it was good. I’ve noticed the older you get, the busier you become, you begin to have responsibilities and things that need your attention. Adult-life so far seems like a never-ending to-do list but what hit me yesterday and this morning really brought it to a head. I would spend so much time trying to get it all done, work as fast as I can so I can get even more done. I found myself listening to the lie the world tells us that how “successful” we are is based on how busy we are. I even thought at times, if I get more done then God would want that right? He wants nothing but good for me so wouldn’t He want me to be successful in life? The big problem I had, I became so obsessed with doing and getting things done I thought were important that I completely overlooked the time I spent with God. So I would find myself getting burnt out trying to accomplish these “important” things, trying to be “successful” by the world’s standards but at the end of the day, barely anything would actually get done, my to-do list would get even bigger, and I’d be overwhelmed with worry and insecurities.
I had so much time to get this God Gold prepared for you but with my focus on conquering what I thought was important, but the most important thing that I actually needed to do, which was spend time with the Lord and serve each of you with this daily encouragement, I didn’t. It’s crazy what happens when we think we need to go as fast as we can to get the most done but we put our time with God, seeking His wisdom and message to us from His Word, talking to Him through prayer, asking what He wants done, what’s important? When we go so fast we tend to run off of our ability then our eyes become cluttered by all this to-do stuff that we can’t even see what direction to go next.
The big lesson I learned is that it’s not about going fast and measuring your success by all the things you accomplish. That route is always going to lead to failure. Sometimes to truly get done what’s important, you have to start with whats important, go to God! I saw this quote from Martin Luther that hits it right on the head!
“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
That sounds crazy right? Why would he spend all that time in prayer if he had so much to do? Sounds foreign right? It’s actually genius!!! That is wisdom working at its finest and the only way to gain wisdom comes from God and God alone. All the running around we do getting spun around in every direction but straight and the price we pay for it internally. None of that has to happen if we just take our days to God, take the to-do’s to God. He says wisdom is the wisest thing you can do and if I would have went to God in His Word first then I would’ve received that truth from God.
So instead of go, go, go, to truly live life in the fullest of ways, to be successful in God’s terms, and being able to discern what is truly most important, we have to slow down to speed up. I love that idea. Slowing down for a second from the busyness and demands we face in life, spending that time with God and making Him the FIRST priority, He shows us how to handle everything we face in our days, all the busyness, all the demands, all the work. To truly speed up and run the race of life faster, you must slow down first and run the race with God. Sounds crazy but look at what God brings to your life, I have nothing else to say but look at what God says to us here in His Word.
“I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.”/Proverbs 4:11-13
SLOW DOWN TO SPEED UP.