WWJD: Part II

God Gold of the Day

John 4:7-9/ When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.

Excited to get back into the gold today and see what God has in store! Yesterday’s gold kind of laid the foundation of the simple truth; we don’t know what to do but that’s okay because we have the perfect example of Christ to look at and learn from. Also, understanding that Christ has walked in these same shoes we’re walking in today and He did it without ever giving in to temptations or stumbling along the way, that makes striving to become more like Christ daily even more important. With these messages the main thing the Lord has put on my heart is that I’m just tired of always doing what Jordan would do because the way I handle situations and act always ends up making a bigger mess. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing or where to even begin trying to learn and apply WWJD but I’m excited to dig in to these pieces of scripture and learn more about Christ and His ways.

So yesterday we saw that Jesus was in the middle of His earthly ministry and while He was traveling, He became tired and decided to stop in Samaria at a well. It’s kind of cool when I was looking yesterday I saw Jesus said “He needed” to go to Samaria and after looking at where He was coming from and where He was going, Samaria wasn’t even on the way to His destination. Samaria was a detour, why would Christ need to go there? Why would He take time out of His very important and short ministry to go out of His way to Samaria? It’s funny when you look at it a lot of the things Christ did doesn’t make a lot of sense to us and I guess that’s kind of the point. Even when we think our intentions are really really good and we’ve got it all figured out, the outcome doesn’t usually look as good as we thought it would. Those are moments when we look back and see exactly how applying a Christ-like approach or living in His will instead of our own could have made a big difference in how the situations in our lives turn out. I thought about a lot of stuff Christ did and taught us to do by example; turning the other cheek, hanging out with the worst of the worst, and so many others. Christ was the weirdest dude to ever walk the earth compared to the way we do things and the way we’re taught by this world to act. Following Christ is weird, uncomfortable, and doesn’t always make sense so I guess if we’ve got one of those symptoms we’re getting closer to a big case of WWJD and by looking at what He’s capable of and the outcomes that come when He’s in the lead. I don’t know about you but bring on the WWJD.

I’ve noticed too one of the biggest problems I have is getting so caught up in my “to-do-list”, in the mundane of the everyday grind, trying to get my stuff done to the point that detours and interruptions in my plans get me so upset. I’ll even see those things coming up and completely avoid them so I can stay on my path to get my stuff done. The big lesson I noticed from Jesus here is that He’s operating completely in God’s will, He’s so in tune with what God is doing and wants done that He doesn’t just want to go out of His way on His journey from town to town but “He needs” to go out of the way. It’s the submission of self, our plans and wants, putting our lives down and following God’s will for our lives even when the majority of the time it may not make sense, His ways are higher than ours. His direction and purpose for our lives always leads us to destinations and outcomes for our good. More importantly for the good of the Kingdom because when Jesus stops at this well in Samaria, He’s not the only one there. For ourselves and even the lives around us, we NEED to follow His will above our own. Embracing God’s plans and purposes, seeing detours as a new path in His plan instead of an obstacle and seeing interruptions as what God is putting in front of you in the moment, not something holding us up but something that God has divinely appointed to happen so you may decrease from your selfish wants and plans in submission to His will that we need. Those things we see as interruptions can be a something that moves us forward, it could be a moment where not only it’s a breakthrough moment in our life and relationship with the Lord but also a chance to help someone else to have a very similar breakthrough impacting moment with Christ.

Jesus goes out His way on His travels to Samaria and when He stops at this well a Samaritan woman comes up to draw water. What’s even crazier that Jesus would take important time out of His important ministry schedule, Samaria is a place that Jews just don’t go. During the time of exile for the Jews, some of the Jews made families and came together with the people that took them captive and that is Samaritans. Jewish people wanted nothing to do with these dirty, sinful people because in their eyes they were a disgrace to the Jewish race. Jesus not only goes out His way but into a territory of the “enemy’, a people that are looked down upon and in the Jew’s eyes they are the worst of the worst. I rarely go out of my way much less going somewhere and interacting with people that are by world standards “not from the right side of the tracks.” Not only with people in a different worldly standing than ourselves or in a worse place personally than we are, but the people right around us in our lives that we see often. Maybe we have a problem with them, for some reason we can’t help but not to like them or the people that constantly cause problems for us and don’t treat us very good either with words or actions. No matter what kind of person it is and what kind of relationship you have with them, Jesus shows us a big truth here. You ready? It’s a big one and it’s one that hit me right in the gut. It doesn’t matter who they are or how you feel about them, love them. Even if that’s just being in their presence and not necessarily doing anything for them, just love them by being around them. If anything that’s a start and it’s farther than we would go if it was up to us, I prove that everyday.

Whether it’s an enemy or someone that you wouldn’t usually associate yourself with, go out of your way and love them. It’s hard to see Christ is “loving her” from just looking at these verses since He’s just sitting there and asking for a drink of water. Looking at it deeper, His love is everywhere in this situation. The fact that He went out of His way, to a place to be around people like her which are the Jew’s enemies, He’s the Son of God so if He really needed water He could probably make that happen without getting some from her, just the simple fact He was sitting there talking to her, that’s love. I had to ask myself, “how often do I lower my pride and selfish ways to reach out to others, even when I could sit and try to figure it out on my own. It takes a lot of humility to express your need for something, especially from someone you’re not supposed to like. Christ turns the tables on this whole situation because wouldn’t you think it’s the Samaritan asking for a drink from the Jew, the human asking for something from God in the flesh? The example Christ sets here is for us to humble ourselves not just below the people who are “above” us but to every single person no matter who they are. Also, I was thinking about how Christ once again goes against what we see as “normal” in this world. It sucks that we’re constantly influenced to think if someone is from a different social class, skin color, sexuality, or whatever is not Christian then we are supposed to stay as far away from them as we can and from a distance talk bad about them or the bad things someone has done in their past. How is handling it that way ever going to make things better or help them see Christ in us? It’s not and it’s convicting knowing how often I do that. Just like Jesus shows us, you don’t have to do anything special, try to turn them with Bible knowledge or give them a bunch of money, whatever the situation calls for. Just be willing to go places around people you may see as enemies or people who you wouldn’t usually associate with, and then love them. Whether with words, actions, or however just be there and love them. Christ could have looked at this lady and said, “well here comes a Samaritan, I don’t associate with those filthy people and I don’t want anyone to see me doing that so I’m outta here.” Instead, Christ set the example, He was weird about it by going against the norm to show her how much he loved her by just being there and humbling Himself admitting His need of water. He’s also showing us that we don’t have to live in the norm because following Christ is so far from that planet. Humbling ourselves before all people, loving all people. This Samaritan lady is even puzzled on  why Christ is talking to her, a Samaritan? She can’t believe that He is doing this, she hasn’t met Christ before so can’t comprehend what the Savior is all about.

After looking at all the different takeaways from the example Christ is setting for us, there isn’t a situation in which having this humble, loving attitude wouldn’t turn the “normal” outcome upside down. Taking these lessons of WWJD and applying them to whatever person or situation you’ll ever have, people will sit there with their jaw-dropped at how you’re acting because remember, being Christ like isn’t normal, it’s just downright weird. And to think that those jaw-dropped people may have never met Christ so that weirdness coming out of you could change their day or even their lives. Dang. I’m pretty upset at myself for all the times I’ve acted out of what Jordan was feeling or thought was best. The good thing is that there’s no better time than right now to put ourselves and our pasts aside, attack the day in front of us like the biggest Jesus loving, humble, light-filled weirdo this world has ever seen!

WWJD

I am so jacked to share these truths that have been sitting on my heart lately from God’s Word with you! It’s such a daggum blessing to be able to send these out and learn so much about the awesomeness of Christ but to think that your hearts might be touched too just blows my mind! He’s got so much awesomeness! So, lately I’ve had to deal with some situations and changes in my life that have been way out of my comfort zone and made me realize even more that I don’t have a clue what to do. The cool part about not having a clue about what to do next, how to act or handle something, those are the moments we come to the end of ourselves. Through God’s amazing grace and the power of the Spirit working within us, we may be at the end of ourselves but at the beginning of Christ. It’s hard to admit we don’t have all the answers and can’t be self-sufficient but that’s the gospel. Christ coming to save us broken, sinful, and weak people, giving us freedom to live with Him today and forever, to walk in His ways not our own, and rest in Him being all we need. He is our Savior and the more we get out of the way, the more He allows us to see our need for Him and our need to be more transformed daily to walk in His light, not our darkness or the darkness of the world. I’ve heard it a million times, we’re called to be Christ-like, live as examples of the sinless, perfect Savior, but during these moments where I’ve been brought to the end of myself the Lord has allowed me to see how we say that and maybe even have the best intentions of living more like Him but the sad truth is we don’t even know where to start. It seems like an impossible task to live like such a perfect example but He didn’t call us to be perfect, He called us to trust Him and each day come a little closer to the ends of ourselves meaning what we think we should do, what we think is best to handle this or act in that. He calls us to become less, and the closer we become to less, the more Christ is present in our hearts and lives. I’ve struggled so hard thinking to be more Christ-like means to do more like reading my Bible or praying more but at the end of the day there is still so much Jordan in me that it’s hard to see a whole lot of good. To be more Christ-like isn’t about doing more, it’s simply becoming less and trusting Him more. I got brought to a point where I was trying to make all these things happen, trying to force stuff in my life whether with relationships or any area really, I was trying to what I thought was “great things” but at the end of the day I was running off Jordan juice and I did more harm than good. The Lord has made it obvious by bringing situations up that I can’t handle or find answers to, that the only way to get a different or great outcome, was to simply become less and be more like Christ. It’s been hard to look at situations and not immediately try to figure it out or fix it, but just remind myself, “okay, what would Jesus do? How would He handle this? How would He have me handle this so I don’t make a bigger mess and have an outcome that shows the light of Christ and shows His light to others?” Those questions at first were scary because how do we know what Jesus would do? How do we possibly act more in His awesome ways? The answer was right in front of me written all over God’s Word and most of all in the pages of the Gospel books where we have a window to see exactly how Christ acted, how He handled so many tough situations.

I usually don’t do series or any kind of lessons but these next few God Golds are going to be lessons for myself as I look into this specific story from John to see how I can learn about Christ, how He acted and how He lived. I pray these lessons can be a help for you also, so we can go on this journey together and see what the Lord wants to show us about Himself and ourselves, with the hope of daily applying these truths and bringer the much needed light of Christ to such a dark world.

John 4:1-6/ When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,). He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

The story of the woman at the well is one I’ve heard a lot of times but I’ve never thought about it like this. Jesus is in the middle of His ministry on earth and He’s obviously a pretty busy guy with a lot to do during this time. Jesus spent 33 years on this earth and only 3 years in ministry so you would think during this 3 years He’s out there getting it, going as fast as He can doing as much as He can before He gets called back home. It’s crazy to me that the Son of God who was fully human and fully God got tired and needed rest but becoming fully human, He went through all the same needs that our flesh goes through. Of course, at any moment He could have snapped His fingers to fix His need but to truly be an example to the people in the flesh, He went all the way. He endured the same temptations and struggles of our weak flesh that we have so when we look at His example like we are here, we can’t just say well Jesus doesn’t understand because He never went through what we’re going through, oh but He did. Seriously sit and think about that, Jesus came down in FULL human form and went through exactly what we endure so He could be our mediator to a God that’s so perfect and Holy, He loved us so much that He came to live as us and be with us and when we are going through something that’s hard, when our flesh is pulling us to go away from God’s ways, Jesus has compassion, love and grace all in one waiting for us because He understands and knows that this life can be hard at times. And what’s even more crazy to think about is Jesus died as a sacrifice for us so we can be with Him now and forever, so He can be there for us in the form of the Holy Spirit living in us because He experienced and lived this and knows how hard it is to get through. It blows my mind to think about Jesus loving us that much and to think He went through His life in the flesh perfect and blameless so we can also look to Him as the example of all examples to learn from and live like.

I’ve honestly never really thought about that one part of the verse saying “Jesus was wearied” or tired from His traveling. It’s stinkin wild that I sat down with the intention of really digging into this story and seeing what we can learn from Christ but God had different plans. That one phrase just set the foundation of our view of Christ and why we are called to daily strive in being more like our Savior and follow His example. I sit here in amazement from what God has already taught us through these pieces of His Word and I can’t wait to see what other awesome truths He has in store for us so we can learn how to be a little more like Christ and lesser of ourselves today than we were yesterday.

 

Greatest Love of all Time

God Gold of the Day

Hope everybody had a great day of FREEDOM! Looking back through some of my old God Gold messages today and ran across this one that stopped me dead in my tracks. This message is from around August of last year and it’s one that opened up my eyes to see how awesome God’s love is. Looking back at how I lived in the BC days (before Christ), it makes me wonder how or why I got here but it’s no big secret, it’s just Jesus and nothing but Jesus. I really can’t even describe how awesome His love is. No matter what you do, whatever terrible sin you commit, nothing can separate you from His grace and love. Even when I found this love, I didn’t know what to do with it so I constantly tried to preform and be my best to earn it since that’s what we’re taught in this world. You have to be really good, read your Bible at least once a day, pray a certain amount of time per day, nope. Those things are great and all but the truth is we can never earn His love, and the good thing is we don’t have to. In the time between this old message when I was still a baby in my faith and now, I’ve found an even deeper truth to His love. Our performance doesn’t affect God’s love for us but no matter what we do, God accepts us and loves us unconditionally. Unconditionally. Wow. The problem I had was that I thought I needed to change from my old life so I could earn this love and acceptance from God but Christ has already paid that price. With God giving up His only Son on the cross like He did, all out of His love for us, that’s how we are transformed by that love. God loved us so we could change. That’s the beauty of being an adopted child of His, this life we have and the inheritance of eternity we have, the chance to change from old ways into new, it’s all out of His love. Know where you stand with the father and remember His love for you is unconditional, share that love and live in His love. The foundation of the God Gold is still the same. By His grace and love for me when I still struggle to move away from my former ways of living, His love is just too awesome not to share with you. His love continues to change my life every day and His love can do the same with your life too.

“You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth. Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger. Do not give the devil an opportunity.” -Ephesians 4:22-27

 

I look back at the way I looked at life in the past and I’ll be the first to tell ya I walked down the wrong road and had my mind wrapped around the wrong things so many times. I still struggle with those things from my past every single day and it only gets harder. The only thing that’s changed for me is realizing that through all my sin God was right there with me. As undeserving as I was He kept loving me and protecting me no matter how sinful my mind and flesh were. Receiving His grace, mercy, and love when you are ignoring Him is one thing but receiving that love when we lay away our old life to embrace the eternal life that He has given us through the sacrifice of His only Son that took all of our sin to the heart on an old rugged cross is a level of love that is unimaginable. He has done more than enough for us and no matter what we do we will never do enough to be deserving of Him. All we are asked to do is put away walking with the world and following Him letting Him lead us to the life that He has already set for us and seeing the truth in His Word to the point we let His image be seen through us to our neighbors showing joy in everything we do. Once God lifted the veil off my eyes to see this, I didn’t know how I could not LOVE Him so deeply letting that love transform my mind and heart to tell my neighbors and the people put in front of me how great, powerful and loving our God is! I send these messages with the prayers that you will experience the truth that has changed my life forever. That’s my testimony, I didn’t figure out some big secret, I finally realized God’s love for me and decided to love Him back. If God can love me after all the wrong I’ve done He can love anyone. The foundation of the God Gold of the Day isn’t out of my want for self appreciation, it is to show God’s unending love and grace that is too daggum awesome not to share. Let’s embrace His love together and multiply that love to the world. Love you!

 

FREEDOM

God Gold of the Day

“Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!””
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭17:41-47‬ ‭

Had the awesome opportunity this morning to speak at an FCA and as much as I hope the kids got some encouragement from it, I know I did! First off, I’ve never been to an FCA that did worship music beforehand but shout out to West Oak Middle because they are doing it right over there!! Seeing kids worshiping and the fact that there was so many there, it was just awesome to be apart of that culture they’ve built of embracing Christ in one of the main places where it’s hard to even hear His name anymore. On top of that, it hit me at a bigger level because at that age, I could care less about Jesus or attending FCA events unless there was breakfast of course! Unreal experience seeing Christ and worshiping Him with a bunch of youngins this morning!

I had planned to speak about the God Gold from yesterday, “Expectations” and use the verses from Philippians but at the last second the Lord had other plans so I changed over to my all time favorite story, David vs Goliath but keeping that same message. I’ve never been a huge fan of public speaking like that and it’s gotten easier through time and doing it but I’m still a sweaty, nervous mess before I get up there. I guess you could say it’s one of my giants. We’ve all got our different giants whether we want to admit or not. Anything that scares you to death, something you can’t ever seem to get past because it’s just too big, too scary, or too overwhelming to face.

I’ve spoken a few times before but I’ve never had to practice what I preach to this extent. I may have looked cool as a cucumber on the outside but on the inside I was freaking out! Staring face to face with my giant, I had no choice but to think about the expectations just like David had. No matter how big that giant is, how tough he may seem or all the times you go to face it and seem to fall short or just run away in fear, I got some good news! David went to face Goliath, the huge, battle veteran, stronger, bigger, warrior and after constantly being doubted. After discussing his want to face this giant with his brothers, other soldiers, and even King Saul, he was told “you’re too small, you’re crazy.” He didn’t let that stop him because David had his expectations in a different place, his expectations were in the Lord so when he looked across the field at his giant and heard all this advice that could’ve gave him every reason to walk away, His trust and faith was in the Lord so he stayed to fight.

I’m realizing this before I get up to speak, David is one crazy dude. David had his expectations in God, His relationship with the Lord, the love and faithfulness of One who had carried and delivered his people time and time again. So when David walks onto the battlefield looking across at this ridiculously sized warrior, he’s probably terrified just like we are when we face our giants but it doesn’t matter how we feel in those moments of fear and doubt. It only matters how we raise our hearts and eyes, leaning on the Savior, Who raises our confidence and raises our expectations. David’s identity was in the Savior, how could he lose? It’s crazy when you realize how much bigger and stronger Jesus is than the giants we make feel so big while we’re playing our expectations out in our heads. You know what I’m talking about, the thoughts of worry, doubt, fear and insecurity that overwhelm you to the point where you feel incapable of not just beating your giant but even showing up.

It was so freeing to trust in that example from David and to trust in the expectations of victory and deliverance that Christ has already given me. It blows my mind to think of living and operating everyday and against giants with that freedom! Imagine what a whole bunch of Jesus followers, freedom fighters could do living under these big, almighty and unlimited expectations not having a care in the world what the world throws at them because at the end of the day, at the end of this life, they’ll have Jesus and they’ll have freedom! Today was a huge wake up call for me after seeing and feeling what freedom is like, why look back? Today is another day to wake up and live in Freedom! Don’t wait til you feel like it, til your giants get a little smaller, they’re not going anywhere but neither is Christ. Go to battle, let them know that you’re a child of God, that they can hurt you and knock you down but they’ll never take your FREEDOM!!!! When the storms and giants come, celebrate your freedom today like this dude up above!!!

God Gold of the Day

Trust the Process

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 1:3-6

The time is finally here!! I’m jacked for the opportunity to share the God Gold of the Day on a bigger platform, with the hope that these messages can be an encouragement to whoever reads them! I put a little background on how the God Gold got started on the testimonials part of the blog page for those of you who are receiving this for the first time. I’ve been stressing some trying to figure out what the first message on the blog should be since it would be out to more people than usual but thank God for my fiance Sarah reminding me it’s just another day, another message, and giving me the topic of “trust the process.” Just like with the God Gold message and everything in our lives, once we come into a relationship with Christ, Christ starts working on us. That work begins small but the more He has His hand in it, the bigger and better it becomes.

I heard these verses from Philippians last night and the way Paul starts off his letter to the church at Philippi got me thinking. He starts by thanking them and how excited, joyful he is to serve alongside of them for the cause of Christ! I don’t know if you’ve ever just taken a second to look back at the tough times in your life, or even the good, and think about the people that God put in your path to encourage you, pick you up and help you move past your circumstances closer to Christ. I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am for every single person in my life and you that may be reading this right now! I wouldn’t have ever sent these messages, honestly without the people I’ve had around me since day one to now, I don’t have a clue where I’d be or what I’d be doing. Then verse six, where Paul speaks with confidence to them because he knows what Christ is capable of. He encourages them to basically trust the process that Christ is taking them through. As much as I needed my reminder from Sarah this morning and how I need reminders every day it’s easier to understand why Paul would say that. He’s in a prison cell so he may not know exactly what’s going on with them in Philippi but he knows how much of a struggle it can be to keep our eyes on Christ and the prize of eternity when all around us it’s struggle after struggle, obstacles, just stuff to bring thoughts of doubt. “Am I really living out my purpose in life? Why am I still stuck in the same problems as yesterday? Why do I feel like every time I take a step forward, I then take 10 steps back?” Questions like that. I constantly ask myself those questions and if I take them to the right place, they start piling  up making you question everything. Most of all question the process. The funny thing is, when we look at scripture in the lives of great men like David, Moses, or Abraham, their life was nothing but a process. David was anointed king of Israel as a young boy and didn’t start being king until he was 30 years old!!! He had to go through years of struggle, battles, and constant uncertainty before he ever stepped foot on the throne. We can look at it and say “well, I’m not inheriting a kingdom so it’s different.” It’s really not, because as followers of Jesus Christ we are inheriting a kingdom, the Kingdom of God!! The things we go through everyday are apart of the process where Christ is shaping and molding us into the men and women He’s planned for us to be. He’s molding us more into His image and I don’t know about y’all but I’ll take His image over my own any day!

Think about it like you’re going to the gym because you want to get in better shape or some huge muscles. In this fast food, “I have to have it now” world we live in we’d like to think that after the first day we walk out looking like Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. The truth is, gaining those huge pythons for arms doesn’t happen in a day, or even a few weeks. To get the muscles you want it’s a daily grind that involves a lot of sweat, pain, and maybe even setbacks. But the great thing is, if you trust the process and completely buy-in to the fact that it’s going to be a long time before results are seen, then the daily grind and obstacles aren’t such a big deal. No matter what obstacle or struggle you have that is constantly getting you down and doubting, it’s okay! It’s actually good news because that means Christ is working on you and molding you into someone much better! I know it gets hard at times but after having so many days of doubt and feeling worthless, this process Christ is taking you through is so daggum worth it! Just keep your eyes and trust set on Christ even in the days of doubt. Look at the work He’s already done in your life and be thankful for the people who helped get you here. To get huge sleeve-ripping pythons for arms, it’s not overnight magic but a daily grind! His promises hold true and He’ll be faithful to finish the good work He’s began in you! Praying for you today and please pray for me that we can get a little bit better today than we were yesterday. A little more stronger in our faith each day.

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