‘Wake My City Movement’ – Devotions with Jon Rouse
Who is Jesus to you? A great question to ask yourself. If He is anyone to you, think about how you can make your relationship strong with him and then start implicating those things into your relationship.
Would love to have you subscribe and do these devotionals with me. I would love to encourage your Christian walk and faith and take this journey with you! Be blessed!
instagram/twitter – @wakemycity
Hey y’all, just wanted to let you know about a ministry I just started called “Wake My City Movement”! God is leading me through it all, would love for you to follow along in the journey. Go like the facebook page to stay up to date – http://www.facebook.com/wakemycitymovement
It is December 22nd, 2015, the first “official” day of winter. It has been a year that I do not care to remember and am looking forward to getting past. I am happy that here, at the end of the year, I am able to think about Jesus and his birth. I am able to think about the positives in my life like my loving God who saves me from sin, from hard times, from myself at times. I am able to look around me and see that I have a father and a savior who has never left me and never forsook me. I have a love that dwells within me that overcomes this world and overcomes the darkness. I have assurance in God that life is not about me and this temporary world, but it is about God and it is about others and what I can do to help them.
This season, this time of year, is always a great reminder of the power of giving. What can we give to others that they could never receive on their own? What can we do today that would show and share the love of Jesus to them?
I bet if we stopped for one moment, one minute to think about one person and something that we could do for them, it would come to us so quickly. We get caught up in the busyness, we get caught up in our own lives and what matters to us that we forget about the people around us and the people we could possibly impact majorly with one simple act of love, one simple act of kindness. We need to step out of our comfort zones, we need to step outside of the box and think about others and what we can do to “give” to them, to “serve” them, to “love” them.
It is great and awesome to give to family and the expected ones. But let us stop for a second to think about the person who comes to mind when we ask God, who can I impact with the love of Jesus today, that maybe needs an act of kindness, a reminder that they are not alone. We should show kindness to others, because we do not know the battles or struggles that they face or are fighting with. I know that a lot of people who seem like they have it all together, who put a smile on their face in public – who are fighting a battle that we know nothing about. I know because I was and am one of them. Pray for them, love them, go out of your way to do something nice for them. Not only are you blessing the Father God when you do these things, you bless the person, and you yourself will be blessed like never before because it will bring you true joy.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
Hebrews 13:12 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
John 13:35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
My challenge to you for today is to stop for a moment and ask God who is one person that I can reach with the love of Jesus this season. Who is one person I can show an act of kindness and love to who needs it the most right now. I’m sure someone comes to mind. You don’t necessarily have to preach to them, but you can let them know that God put it on your heart and that he is thinking about them and loves them. This would be a good discipline and practice to have in your life everyday. Who are you impacting today with the love of Jesus?
Lately I have been thinking about all the controversy, all the divided opinions and beliefs, and the questions of “What is your identity, Who are you, How do you identify yourself, with whom do you identify yourself with?” and so many more questions just like that. Since I am a believer and follower of Jesus, I find my identity in Him.
1 Corinthians 8:6
“yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
God has created us (the human race) after His own image. He created us with free will in hopes of true fellowship with family. For those who believe and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, are adopted into the family of God. We become new people with new hearts and fresh starts. He created you and wants you to know Him.
1 Corinthians 1:18 “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.”
I think a lot of the time in life people are searching for belonging, searching for an emptiness or hole in their life to be filled, so they look and look and find identity and belonging in places, fads, a group of people or things that they probably shouldn’t. I do see, just in watching tv that, The media and masses push things on to people through the slyness of entertainment. They make things funny, or look a certain way in a certain lighting and if they do it little by little for long enough, the people subliminally listen and decide they will take the same stance and say that it’s okay. They aren’t seeking for answers themselves, but listening to Hollywood, because it’s easy, because that is what they are feeding themselves on a daily basis. It’s kind of like the old saying “if it feels good, then do it”.
I’m here to tell you that there is a someone that can take that emptiness, that can take that hurt, that can take that confusion all away. Jesus loves you and he created you with a purpose. He is the one who can fill that hole and give you a new heart and make you new in Him. He pursues you and you may not see it, He loves you and you may not feel it, He knocks at the door to your heart but you may not hear it. It takes faith!
Hebrews 11:6 “ And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
You see, to even come to God, you must have faith that He exists, and to find wholeness and to become new and fulfilled you must sincerely seek Him. Without that, you will only hear what the masses are pushing out. (Matthew 7:13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.”) If you do say “yes, I believe in God” and then you make a decision to seek Him sincerely and to pursue what He has for you. Then your eyes will be opened to the truth. For there is truth and there is black and white, but it is up to you to ask yourself, “is there an ultimate line, an ultimate choosing that I must do”. you see, God is knocking right now as you read this, and the question is will you answer and how will you answer? “No, I reject the thought of a Savior” or “Yes, I believe and if I believe, I choose to follow” even if you are shamed or ridiculed for believing and taking a stance that you believe in your heart.
2 Timothy 3:12 “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
I find it a double standard, that people who call “Christians” judging, intolerable, hateful and so on are doing the exact same thing to us who have stood for what we believe and that its okay for them to do so to us. But wouldn’t that make them judging, intolerable, and hateful to us who find our identity in Christ. Are you who are standing up for what the world’s agenda is persecuting us for finding our identity in the love of a Savior? A question to ask yourself.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
If you are empty, he will fill you. If you are weak, you will find strength in Him. If you are lonely, you will find comfort in His family and in His arms. God is fighting for you everyday of your life, whether you see it or not. He will make you new!
My challenge to you today is that if you do not know who you are, why you exist, or what to do next. In your own private alone time, with a sincere heart pray to God this
“God, I don’t know you, I’m not sure if I know myself, but I believe that you exist and I want to know you, I want to know your spirit and your heart. Come into my life, forgive me of my past, I want to pursue what you have for me all the days of my life. In Jesus name Amen”
In this life there are trials, temptations, troubles and hardships that we have to face. Life is not always easy and doesn’t always go our way. Maybe we have come from a broken home, maybe you have struggled with addiction your whole life, maybe someone broke your heart when all you have ever been was kind, maybe you struggle financially, maybe you didn’t get that job you wanted, maybe you struggle with loneliness or feelings of inadequacy. So many things in this life can leave you feeling hopeless and broken. But I am here to tell you that there is a hope for the hopeless, there is love, when you haven’t felt loved in a long time, there is peace you can find and it’s when you find and meet and begin a relationship with Jesus.
Jesus let us know in the bible in John 16:33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
You see the start to overcoming your trials and your troubles, your sorrows and your storms is to start that real relationship with Jesus. The relationship where you keep your eyes on him throughout each and every day you live. Not just on Sundays or here at Uprise, but it is an everyday real relationship. Jesus is referred to being a husband to the church. People who accept Jesus and live for him are considered the church, we are his bride. So just like a husband and wife relationship, it is an everyday relationship. Each day you think about that person, they are number 1 in your life, (aside from God). You grow to know them more and more, even to the point where you know what each other are thinking. That is the kind of intimate relationship I am talking about. Jesus will keep us full of peace and enveloped in his peace when our focus is on him, because we know this life will be tough, but we know someone who makes us strong when we are weak, who gives us grace to get through tough times, who reminds us that he is with us and he will never leave us.
*The Struggle is real, but Jesus is the strength to live a life that is full of peace.
We don’t need to go to God and tell him how big our problem is, but we need to speak to our problem, and tell it how big our God is.
I have a van that I drive, I’ve been driving it all winter long. I never really had any problems with it. But I did always drive it down to empty. In fact It was most of the time below a quarter tank and I drove it like that all winter. Come a few months down the road, last month sometime, my van started chugging, as if it was running out of gas, but there was gas in it, about a quarter haha. Any way it died out on me and wouldn’t drive. I had to get it towed to a shop. They looked at it and fixed the problem. It was a dirty carburetor. It became that way because I had been driving it all winter close to empty. Not to mention in the air filter there was what appeared to be a mouse’s nest with all kinds of hay, grass and even a good amount of foam. My car wasn’t running right and it’s because of my neglect to give it what it needed to run properly, and because something got into my car without me noticing that was draining my gas even faster and causing it to run improperly.
This is just like our lives. We can go days, months, even years without really giving our lives what they need and that is our focus on Jesus, our relationship with Jesus, the months may past and everything seems to be running fine, but one day you are going to find yourself not knowing what happened, you are out of gas, or you are broken down. Some things got into your life little by little that acted as a poison, you didn’t notice it because you weren’t staying focused and you weren’t intentional about your relationship with Jesus and now you find yourself alone. That thing that got into your life, maybe even a sin that has you restrained from finding true joy, that thing, whatever it was, was sucking away your time and your attention, from the one true source that will lead you to have true peace, joy, fulfillment, and strength.
When we live without Jesus as our daily source, some things can get in to our lives that can make us dirty and that can break us down. But when we give our lives to Jesus, he can make us So Fresh and So Clean and give us what we need to keep moving forward when life seems to be moving backwards.
*When we keep our focus on Jesus first, he gives us what we need to keep moving forward when life’s circumstances around us seem to be moving backward
Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,”
Jesus blood was shed as the greatest sacrifice to wash our sins away and to give us a new start on life. A new life with him.
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
If and when we gave our life to Jesus Christ, we gave up our own lives and our old selfish desire, because he gave us his love and his life so that we can have strength in him and we can have eternity in heaven.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
It is only Jesus who makes us clean, this is not something that we can accomplish on our own because the bible says and we all know it to be true, that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are all equal and in the same boat, all in need of a savior to set us free from sin and death. Our hearts are dirty, hard and stained without Jesus blood and sacrifice to wash it away.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”
When we give our lives to Jesus, he gives us a fresh and clean heart that is responsive to him. He takes away our dirty hard hearts. Living for Jesus daily is what we need to feel clean, fulfilled, satisfied, and strong in this life. The more you know him, the more you will grow to love him.
*A relationship takes love, work and commitment, and our relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship we will ever have.
RT: We don’t need to tell God how big our problems are, we need to tell our problems how big our God is. #Godiswithus
RT: Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice by dying for our sins, the least we can do is to give and live our life for Him #becausehefirstlovedus
A lot of times in life we have our peaks and we have our valleys. We have our times when nothing could seem to go better and we have our times when we struggle with doubt, questions, and a feeling of inadequacy. We find ourselves wondering is there hope in this seemingly hopeless situation. Is there a light at the end of this dark tunnel that I am going through right now? Isn’t being a Christian supposed to be easy, supposed to make everything better?
Here are a couple things to remember when you are going through a hard time.
1. Jesus had told us you will have trials and tribulations in this world, but he said take heart because he has overcome the world. (John 16:33)
– Yes we have things that happen in life to us, that don’t make sense. Some times things just happen, sometimes you make bad decisions for your life, some times you remove yourself from light, sometimes there may be an attack on your life because the devil wants to steal your joy, kill your ambition for spreading God’s kingdom and salvation, and destroy your opportunity at a life full of peace. But when we learn that with God we too are more than conquerors. God gives us the tools we need – His Spirit, His Word and Faith and the local church a community of believers to help encourage you – to be an overcomer. It is up to us to decide to put ourselves in better situations, even if it takes you out of your preconceived comfort zone.
2. God gives us direction in how to leave a life of anxiety and worry behind us and its so deep yet so simple. #TRUST
-It’s so easy to try and create our own path in life. To take matters into our own hands, as if we have it all together.
– Proverbs 3:5,6 ” Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.”
He tells us to seek his will, to seek him first, to trust in Him and in that trust comes our path in life to take. It can be a very hard thing to do, because with that comes patience on our part. In this day and age, we want everything to happen right now. I feel ya on that one, it can be hard, but just TRUST that God has a plan and when we put him first, you have him working things out for you better than you could have even imagined. That trust leads you step by step, he doesn’t show you the end right away, because obedience and trust in him are key to pleasing him by faith. With out faith it is impossible to please God.
-Phil 4:4-8 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
He tells us to lose the worry and pray to him about it and begin thanking him for your answer to your prayer and thank him for everything good in your life now and that he has already done and is going to do, that is where you find peace, is in his presence, is in your TRUST in him. He gives us simple instruction to clear your mind of negativity and focus on him and his attributes, and to TRUST him.
I’m sure that we have all been there. We lose sight, we get bored, we let ourselves think maybe we screwed up to big this time and God won’t and can’t use me anymore, we’ve given God 6 months of our life and we think everything is supposed to be awesome now but they haven’t changed enough so we quit. These are just a few things, among many others, that can hinder us from living a life filled with hope and with peace. I have been to the valley and I have been living life to the happiest, I can tell you one thing. You don’t have to have everything in your life be perfect, you don’t have to be a millionaire to find peace and happiness. That one true peace and hopefulness, that life of complete faith and TRUST in God is where that guaranteed truest of forms of peace and happiness come from. When we learn to put God first, and for real, not just I go to church, but put God first for real, when you wake up to conversations with him, you pop in a worship album and sing to him, you study his word and think on it, there my friend is where true peace, joy and hope for a better life come from.
I challenge myself and all of us to learn to trust God and that his plan and his time for your life are better than life without God and they are better than your own plan for your life. Let’s seek him first in all that we do and He will use us to change the people and the world around us! God bless, love yall, been a while – Jon