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!
“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!!!
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.