So apparently this song came out in 2018 and I’m just now hearing it! I was listening to Amazon Music when this song popped up and literally stopped me in my tracks.
Take a look at some of the lyrics!
We want our coffee in the lobby We watch our worship on a screen We got a Rockstar preacher Who won’t wake us from our dreams We want our blessings in our pockets We keep our missions overseas But for the hurting in our cities Would we even cross the street?
But we wanna see the heart set free and the tyrants kneel The walls fall down and our land be healed But church if we want to see a change in the world out there
It’s got to start right here It’s got to start right now Lord, I’m starting right here Lord, I’m starting right now
What are we doing to bring others to Christ? What are we sacrificing? ARE we sacrificing? Or are we too caught up in our comfort zone to even think about lost souls?
As we say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021 may it be our mission to start right here! To reach those who are lost, to proclaim the Gospel!
Why do we find it difficult to break the silence about the best news and most important Person the world has ever known?
Herb Vander Lugt
Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
***I’ve never had so much trouble writing a post. But Satan knows this message is meant to be shared and he tried everything, and I mean, EVERYTHING, he could to prevent me from writing this. But God wins. Every time, God wins.***
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16, NLT
What does it meant to be a light in the world?
As believers, we are called to be the light in the darkness of the world. But what does it mean?
Jesus is the light of the world. It says so in John 8:12! “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me you won’t have to walk in darkness because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Don’t hide your testimony or be ashamed to take your Bible to work. Don’t be afraid to pray over your lunch at school. Let others know that you love the Lord Jesus.
There is a movie called I’m Not Ashamed that I’ve mentioned before but it’s such a powerful movie that I want to talk about it again.
The movie is based on Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim in the Columbine shootings back in 1999. Her story is so uplifting and moving.
I don’t understand this but for some reason I’ve always been drawn to her story. Her legacy has brought so many people to Christ. I have a couple of books that were written based on her journals she kept. She kept many journals. And guess what? She struggled just like anyone else.
She wasn’t perfect, not even close. She had her share of struggles with all things that most teens struggle with. She just chose to stay close to Christ in order to fight her demons.
Rachel genuinely had a love for others and was so compassionate towards them despite the way they treated her. She showed her love in many aspects of her life and worked hard to be the person God created her to be.
Rachel made the decision to “love people with a heart of compassion and see and love people as Jesus does.
Colossians 3:12-13 says “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another, and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.” (ESV)
I want to live a life like that. A life devoted to Christ and serving His people. I want to be able to show compassion towards those that don’t necessarily show compassion towards me.
I don’t want to be ashamed. I want to be that light that shines so bright that makes people ask what is so different about me.
Living Like Jesus
There is a song called Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns that I absolutely love. I feel the lyrics say it all.
“The world is on their way to You But they’re tripping over me Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded A plank eyed saint with dirty hands”
How can we live like Jesus if we’re stumbling blocks to unbelievers? How will they see Jesus if we’re not living a life pleasing to Christ?
We must live like Jesus. Truly live for Him, living in such a way that oozes the love of Jesus and His light. So what does living like Jesus look like?
Romans 12:2 tells us “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.” (NLT)
By copying the behavior and customs of this world we aren’t living as a light in this world. We aren’t living like Christ. We are to let God transform us into a new person so that we can shine God’s light wherever we are.
Being a light in this hate filled world won’t always be easy but we owe it to unbelievers everywhere to live a life pleasing to the Lord.
Further in Romans 12 Paul tells us “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying. When Gods’ people are in need be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. (Romans 12:9-13 NLT)
People notice our actions, our words. And by living as a light we have a chance to speak God’s Word without even saying a single word. People will take notice of the way we are living our life and it’s going to make them question what exactly it is that makes us different.
We must love like Jesus.
The light of the world we share is Jesus. As they see glimpses of Him and His truth, they are drawn to Him.
…Being a Disciple Costs Everything…AND HE IS WORTH IT!
Then He said to the crowd, “if any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily and follow me.
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
Luke 9:23-24 (NLT)
What does “take up your cross daily” even mean?
To me, I think it means taking all the burdens you bear and giving it to Jesus. It means walking with Him through the good times AND the bad. When temptations come our way, we hold them up to Jesus and keep our focus on Him alone.
We are called to give up our selfish ways and look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. God wants us to deny our own life and desires and pursue HIS life and desires.
To be a disciple of Jesus, we must learn that this world has nothing to offer us. No matter how pretty or shiny the thing the world tries to offer us we must refuse it and keep our focus on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore since we are surrounded by such a huge crowed of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
A Call To Listen to God
Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refuse to listen to Moses the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from Heaven!
Hebrews 12:25 (NLT)
Being a disciple of Christ means listening to Christ when He speaks to us. By rejecting Him, we’re rejecting his love, his grace. We’re rejecting eternity with Him.
But by listening to Him, by accepting His love and grace we have a kingdom waiting for us that cannot be taken away.
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping Him with holy fear and awe.
Hebrews 12:28 (NLT)
Our Eternal Home
You guys! This world is NOT our home. If you know Jesus as your personal Savior, you have so much to look forward to when Christ comes back. This worldly home is temporal. Our eternal home is with the One who created us, the one who loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us so that we wouldn’t have to die in our sins! Because of His great love for us, because of the gift of salvation…we are free!
For this world is not our permanent home, we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
Look I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book! (NLT)
“People get ready!
Jesus is coming!
Soon we’ll be going home.”
–Crystal Lewis (song “People Get Ready…”)
I have so many family and friends who are lost. Who need the Lord in their life. They are blind to the fact that they are in need of Him. And it breaks my heart.
Yes, it breaks my heart but am I doing anything about it? Am I lovingly witnessing to these people often? Is my light shining for them to see?
I should want to see these people come to know the Lord! Where they spend eternity is crucial!
We should be on fire for the Lord, spreading his Gospel! There are countless souls who have never even heard the Good News. That needs to change.
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone TELLS them?
Romans 10:14 (NLT)
We must TELL them about Christ! We must be witnesses!
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth!
Acts 1:8 (NLT)
We don’t know the exact hour Jesus will return but He IS coming! And we must be right with the Lord.
You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
Some of this post is taken from last year’s post, I just added some new thoughts.
It’s been 18 years since America was attacked by terrorists. That day, the world stopped turning for just a little while.
They say when a big tragedy such as 9/11 occurs that you will always remember where you were. It’s totally true.
I still remember where I was on September 11, 2001. It’s been 18 years but I will always remember where I was.
I was a freshman in college, taking classes at the local community college. I had a late day that day so I was sleeping in when the phone rang. It was my mom calling from work telling me to turn on the TV right away.
I turned on the TV just to see the second plane hit the tower. I was in shock. What was going on??
I went to class as usual and was sitting in my psychology class when the professor stopped talking and just looked at us. He then told us that he couldn’t teach, that everything that was going on was just so surreal and that we were dismissed.
That day changed America, obviously. People were nicer, kinder. Churches filled up. People were scared and looking for answers.
It’s been 18 years. But I remember it as if it were yesterday.
People flocked to the church. Pews were filled.
America was hurt. America was down. Down but not out.
As a nation, we rose back up slowly. We became united as one.
Where were you that September day?
Where were you when the world stopped turnin’
That September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or workin’ on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?
Did you weep for the children, they lost their dear loved ones
Pray for the ones who don’t know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out with pride for the red, white, and blue
And the heroes who died just doin’ what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?
I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love
**This is an old post from 2017 but I feel the need to share it again.**
…..Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinithians 12:7-10
Some days are just a huge struggle. Seriously, the struggle is real just trying to get out of bed. My mind races with incomplete thoughts, I’m constantly restless and I just have no energy to function. Welcome to a day in the life of someone with bipolar disorder and ADHD and other health problems.
Is this the result of some unconfessed sin in my life? No, I don’t believe so. Could God heal me completely? Absolutely? But do I think He will? No, I don’t think so. This is my “thorn in the flesh.” God is using my mental illness and other physical illnesses to draw me closer to Him. He’s trying to tell me that His grace is sufficient. And it is!
Unfortunately, there are people out there who believe mental illnesses are the result of a lack of faith or some unconfessed sin. I do not hold this stance.
Why is there such a stigma regarding mental illness in the church? Why are people so afraid of it? Tell me, is having a mental illness any different from suffering from a physical illness?
When a person is suffering from diabetes, people have no problem with that person seeing a doctor and being treated for that particular problem. But when a person is diagnosed with a mental illness, there must be unconfessed sin. Either that or the person’s faith is not strong enough.
I had someone tell me that once. When they heard that I was bipolar they actually looked me in the eye and said that my faith wasn’t strong enough. Basically, I needed to “pray it away.”
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES DO NOT DISCRIMINATE! It CAN and DOES happen to people every single day. People who are strong in their faith. People who are weak in their faith. People who don’t HAVE faith. It does not matter!
I know for a fact that Jesus loves me unconditionally. Meaning, he loves me despite my flaws, despite my health issues. He loves me.
Do I believe that I could wake up tomorrow completely healed from all my health ailments? Absolutely! But I also believe God uses these things to draw people closer to Him. And that is what He is doing with me.
My health problems are my “thorn in the flesh.” I have come to terms with that. God is using my health issues for good. I may not know what that is right now but I have accepted the fact that I’m going to have these health issues the rest of my life. And I grow closer to God every single day. 🙂
March 16th, 2003 will forever be a special day for it is the day I let go and clung to Jesus and trusted in Him. Has it always been easy? No.
I was 19 when I became a Christian, despite having grown up in church. I went through life thinking I was saved, thinking I had it all together when in reality I was lost.
I basically had the head knowledge but none of it made its way into my heart.
I even attended a Bible College before I got saved. I honestly thought I was saved. Then I came home for spring break and we had an evangelist come and speak at our church. He made a statement that has stayed with me all these years…..
You can be 99% sure (of your salvation) but you’re still 100% lost.
Basically, he was saying that it doesn’t matter how much head knowledge we have, if it hasn’t reached our hearts, we are still lost.
Do I doubt my salvation sometimes? Well, I’d be lying if I said no, that I never doubt it. But Satan has a sneaky way of getting into my head and stirring up trouble. He whispers in my ear that I’m not good enough, that God doesn’t really love me, that I’m not really saved.
God is always with us even when it feels He is not. He doesn’t walk away from us, we walk away from Him.
I’ve been struggling lately but I’m slowly getting back on track. I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers.
I haven’t been writing lately but like my relationship with God, I’m slowly getting back into it.
I really do want to write a book but I’ve been neglecting it. Who knows how long it will take for me to get through the whole process but if it takes me years then so be it.
Prevail Church is taking off! We have been having a steady number of people week after week! Pastor Jonathan began a new series last week, entitled “My Story.” Here is the first sermon from that series!
A life that glorifies God is a life that reveals God
Does my life glorify God? In all that I say and do, does my life reflect Him? It’s a question I ask myself constantly.
Life can get overwhelming at times, we all know this. And in those difficult times, are we focusing on the Creator rather than the created? Is our focus half-hearted? Or does our light shine before men, oozing out Christ’s love for others?
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
We are called to lead others to Christ. We are called to love these people and show them Christ’s love. After all, Christ died for our sins. He literally took our sin upon Him. Why? Because He loves us so much. He loves us unconditionally and undeservedly.
Does our life glorify God? Or are we just going through the motions, just pretending? Pretending to be on fire for God? Do we act one way around our Christian friends and a completely different way around non believers? How will that bring others to Christ?
Christians are called to walk through the world with the heart of Christ.
Louie Giglio, “Goliath Must Fall”
I struggle with selfishness. I will admit that. But if I’m being honest with myself, being selfish is definitely not Christlike. Unfortunately, while I have selfish tendencies, I also tend to be a people pleaser. Kind of weird, huh? I struggle with how and what people think about me and strive to please them and because of that I lose my focus on God. I take my eyes off of Jesus and I start to sink like Peter did when he got out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus. I should live in a way that pleases God and not man.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
And whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men
Now, as long as we live on this earth we will never be perfect. We will slip up from time to time. But thankfully we have a God who welcomes us back into His arms. His love is that strong. He IS love!
I heard the song, Reckless Love, by Cory Asbury awhile back and immediately fell in love with it. I invite you all to take a listen to it when you get a chance! Here’s the chorus:
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
God loves us so much. He loves us with an everlasting love, an agape love. It’s so hard to fathom this kind of love, isn’t it?
It’s hard to think that He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us so we don’t have to spend eternity in hell. How is that type of love possible? To love us so unconditionally?
We cannot fathom it because we are human and our minds just can’t wrap around the idea that Someone would love us that much. But He does and He longs to have a relationship with us.
I long to love people the way Jesus does. As Masey Mclain once put it:
I want to love people with a heart of compassion and see and love people as Jesus does.
In Our Daily Bread’s devotional reading for today the subject was on how we must demonstrate our faith. We must be ready to give an answer for why we behave differently than the world.
When suffering and hardships come our way, how do we respond? Do we respond with a Christlike attitude? Or do we fall apart?
When people ask us why we are “different” we must be ready to give them an answer and we must do it respectfully and gently.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. Keeping a clear conscience so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
1 Peter 3:15-18
People must be able to see a difference in how we act when hardships arise in our life. If not, if we fall apart, how will they see Jesus? If they see us act one way in church and then a completely different way when bad things happen, our testimony is ruined.
I love Jesus with all my heart. I strive daily to please Him in all I say and do. I mess up, yes I’m human, but thankfully I have a God who is a God of second and third chances….and fourth and fifth chances, etc. He is always willing to forgive and loves me and you so much.
Like I’ve said before, He longs to have a relationship with you. Won’t you come to Him?