Christian Hypocrites?

chTo those who look at christians and won’t have anything to do with them or church because they think we are all a bunch of hypocrites. It’s true, no one is perfect and does everything they say they will, christians and non-believers alike. That is humanity, we all don’t measure up to the standard, but that is what the gospel is all about. Jesus meeting us where we are at and lifting us up with his grace, mercy, love, forgiveness and hope. Don’t use that as an excuse to not believe or to not go to church. People aren’t perfect and christians alike are still trying to get it together too, we all have ups and downs, but God in his faithfulness will stay true to you. Look and trust in Jesus’ faithfulness rather than trusting in what other “christians” are acting like. Look and trust in God’s word and love, rather than judging God by imperfect people. Don’t use the excuse I won’t go to church because there are hypocrites there, since when did that become a real thing, I’m sure you don’t say I’m not going to the bar, because there are hypocrites there, I’m not going to the mall to shop because there are hypocrites there. A word to you is to look to Jesus and not the christian person, because just like you, we fail, we fall, we make mistakes, we don’t act as we should all the time, we could never be perfect, but Jesus has come to be the link between us and God, come to give freely salvation to those who ask from him forgiveness and grace for this life.

As christians, when we fall, get back up again and trust God as we endure life and hardships, he will be your grace and strength in your weakness. The Bible even says the righteous will fall seven times daily but he will get back up again. He will keep moving forward toward Jesus. It doesn’t mean you go screwing up on purpose, but it means when you do, you get back up and keep your gaze on Jesus above all else.

One Church

one-church-200x200I am here to talk to you today about working together in Unity. We as brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ need to realize that we are one people with one purpose, to share the love of Jesus with the world and to glorify him. To many times in the body of Christ, believers and Christians tear each other down. Whether it be gossip, rumors, talking down to or about one another does no good, but just causes strife, pain, and hurt emotionally and spiritually. Sure we may have our differences in style, age, personality etc. but that does not give us the excuse to patronize one another. We as believers may be part of different denominations, but the truth is, there are born again Jesus followers in most likely every one of them. Some of us may “know” more than others, some of us may be better servants than others, some of us may be baby Christians and some of us may be mature Christians. My whole point is that we as a universal body of believers need to, forgive me for the cliche, need to just get a long more. What do you think could happen if believers came together to spread the love of Jesus, rather than wasting their time trying to tear each other down. I think a lot more would be accomplished for the cause of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 “12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

Ephesians 4:1-3 ” As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Romans 14:19 “So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.”

My challenge to you today is to look for the good in people. Look for the good in your fellow believers. Remember that they are your brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ and how you treat them is how you treat him. Yes you may have messed up and treated people horribly in life up until now, but God is a God of forgiveness and mercy. Confess it to him and repent and begin to turn your life around. He wants you to, don’t feel so ashamed that you think you can’t go to him for his love and mercy are far more than we can imagine. Treat others well!

Don’t be a Zombie

zombieI could have went two different ways with my title because I am talking about a two step process, but “Dont be a Zombie” just seemed right haha. My other title was “Noise Complaint”, so take both of those into consideration. I want to talk to you today about voices. So many voices in this world, in your personal life, in your head that we hear playing over and over again and again all throughout our day everyday. Whether we are voluntarily choosing to listen to someone or something or involuntarily. We have radio, tv, friends, family, commercials and so much more that is constantly feeding us with who we are supposed to be, what we are supposed to do, why we need to do this or that, etc. When there is only one true voice that should be piercing through all of the noise that is going on. That is God’s voice, the one we should be keen on listening to. He has a still small voice that beams through all the noise and it comes from the inside of us. It could come in the form as a strong desire or passion to do something. It could be a scripture from the bible that sticks out to you and stays with you through whatever you are going through. It could be an encouragement from somebody that keeps you strong at your lowest point. These are just a few of the ways that God talks to us. He is trying everything possible to reach you and to connect to you and to walk with you in life. So many distractions in life that are telling us who to be and what to do. For example, instagram is telling us we need to have these super awesome fun cool lives that we need to share in order to show other people that we are super awesome fun cool people. But what does that get you, we are looking to show off to people, when we should be searching and seeking to glorify God. I am not saying that instagram is bad, I love it and share sweet awesome super cool photos myself, but when that is what is speaking to us most and becomes a priority to want to please people, then that is a voice that we need to quiet down in our lives. Same goes with facebook, twitter, tv, magazines and anything else we are feeding ourselves that takes away from us hearing the voice of God and hearing his leading personally in our lives.

Things that can be easily innocent, can also be things that slowly chip away at the person God is leading us to be.

Psalm 37:4-5 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act”

We need to make a decision to seek God’s voice and leading in our lives and not only to hear it, but to follow it. When we choose to follow God and his voice, you are going to be following in the will of God for your life and then you are going to be able to witness God do mighty miracles through your life. Miracles like, seeing other people’s lives changed because you listened to God and obeyed and because you bought someone’s meal they are eager to listen to what you have to say about God, or because you took a step to serve in the church nursery, lives are being saved because a single mom got to come to church and hear God’s word in a way she never heard it before and in touched her in a way that she dedicates her life and her family to serving God for the rest of her life, and so many more scenarios that could play out.

What I am saying is, when you listen to God, he always has a plan and a purpose for you doing what he wants you to do and if you do it, the miraculous can happen. God can use you, no matter who you are or where you are, you are a disciple of Jesus and are called to be a light to the world. Don’t let life pass you by without ever realizing that God has a voice and he is talking to you, don’t let all of the distractions in life keep you in a zombie like state never realizing that God has a huge plan for you to change the lives around you that he has put there. Steven Furtick said it like this “Most believers aren’t in imminent danger of ruining their lives. Their facing a danger that is far greater. Wasting them.” It is time that you and I and we as a church, stand up and listen to God, listen to what step he would have you take next. If you notice that life is passing you by, day in and day out, then change something, make a decision to take a step of faith and follow God and his word.

Joshua 1:8 “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

Yes you can watch tv, listen to decent music, read books, get on your social networks, but make sure that God has his place in your life and in your ear and heart. Listen to sermon podcasts, read your bible, talk with God in prayer time and let his voice take precedent in your life. Make a decision to listen, shut the world out for a bit and listen. God says “Be still and know that I am God.” Make sure his voice is the one leading you to action, and not the voice of your friends telling you who you should be. God made you the way you are for a purpose and only he can tell you how to be, who to be and so on. And know that his voice inside of you, the Holy Spirit’s voice, will always line up with the word of God. God is not telling you to do something that includes sinning in it, he is usually telling you to do something that is going to change your life for the better of it, or to do something that is going to change someone else’s life for the better. He has a plan.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

So let your heart plan your way in the way of the Lord and let him guide your steps.

Don’t be a zombie living life by basic instinct and wondering about aimlessly, but be moved to action by listening to God’s voice.

My challenge to you today is to make a decision to cut out all the extra noise and make room to listen to God’s voice, and not only listen but be moved to action, follow his leading, be someone who he uses to change lives. That can look like anything, no small thing you do is unseen, God appreciates it all and even a small step like giving someone a glass of water is a step toward following God’s voice. I challenge to listen to God and follow what he says. He is speaking to you right now about something he wants you to do, so DON’T Be A ZOMBIE and get off your hinder and do it 😉 haha, but for reals though. Listen and follow.

Never Give Up

neverIn life we all go through ups and downs with emotions, with unforseen circumstances, with storms of life, with letting ourselves down and not living up to who we want to be. I have three words for you “Never Give Up”. Jesus tells us that there will be storms, that you will have ups and downs, that you will let yourself down. But one thing is certain and never changes – God and his love for us. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but what he does ask is that we depend on him and that we lean on him and that we build ourselves up strong by spending time with him. He gives us direction on how to do life and on how to lean on him. We could never survive life if it wasn’t for his goodness and mercy and his grace that gives us ability to be strong when we are at our breaking point, when we are at our weakest. When we learn that we are nothing with out him and that we can’t do it on our own, that is when his grace works in our lives and he makes a seemingly impossible situation work out.

James 4:6  “But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
We need to realize and be humble about life. We need to learn to trust that God knows what is best for us and that we don’t. When you learn to be humble in life in reverence  to God, he then will give you grace to get through what ever life is handing you. You will find more peace about not knowing what to do, because you are learning to lean and trust him in and through life, even when we go through hard times. He has been my constant and ever so faithful to me, and he will do the same for you.
Proverbs 3:5,6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heartand lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight.”
This requires a DECISION on your part to put your trust in him. If you believe the bible than you should believe his word is true and that his promises are true. He will guide us, but it is up to us to place our trust and faith in him so that he can guide us. Things aren’t automatically awesome and perfect when we do follow him, but that decision to trust him will give you peace in times of trouble. And if you follow him and trust him long enough, learn also to see the miracles he will give birth to in your life. He will work things out even through the storms and the heart aches. It is a tough thing to do, to not make every decision on our own, but it is the best thing we can do, so that he can work in our lives the way he wants to. “All things work for the good of those who love him”.
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
We need to trust that God is with us and he will never leave us. If we learn to trust in him and walk with him, we will find more courage and strength that if we were trying to do things on our own. He will give us grace to live life more joyfully and more fulfilled. Trusting him does require patience, because we live in such a NOW, Instantaneous results kind of world, we need to learn to change our patterns. It is something you choose to do, but if you don’t fully choose to trust, then you won’t see the great things God has planned for you. While you trust God, you should have a personal relationship with him, walking with him daily, talking with him daily and letting him lead your path. If you trust him, but go your own way, you can’t expect for your path to be straight and for things to work out. God has a plan for you and that is something he wants your trust in too. So continue to follow him in your life and learn to trust him. Make the choice, its yours to make. But God will lead you if you learn to follow.
Philippians 4:12-13 “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
My challenge for you today to apply to your life, is change your patterns of impatience and make a choice to trust in God and follow him through all the ups and downs in life. He gives you peace and grace to get through anything this life throws at you. I challenge you to follow him with your life and trust him with your life. He has the best life planned for you.

Keep Standing

keep standingA lot of times people have faith enough to get things going and to follow God right off the bat and for a while, but then we lose faith when we begin to not see results right away. But when u r believing for something that God has told u to believe for I encourage u to keep standing in faith and putting your hand to it, if God said it then u will be so blessed when u see the outcome. Stand strong through the circumstances or when things seem stagnant because God is working it out. I heard it said that people quit digging 3 feet before they reach gold. Dont quit, stand strong and keep pressing towards God and your vision. God will work it out.

Promise, Process, Payoff. Not all of God’s promises come instantly when we pray. We see God’s promises in the Bible and what he did for others, We begin a process of standing on God’s word in faith (do not let your faith go, but believe beyond what circumstances and what you can see that God’s word is true), and in God’s timing you will see the payoff for why God did it in His timing and not your own. #Trust #Faith

Faithful Prayers

faithful prayersPrayers of faith to God concerning your life should be not just prayers but us moving in action in the direction of your prayers. For example to be debt free – get out the check books, balance them, cut back where u can etc. Prayers for God to reach people in your city – get out there and love, serve and invite them to church. Prayers to experience God and his presence daily – daily spend time with God, prayer time, worship time, devotion time. Simple yet true! Let God put some Super to your Natural. Continue to work with God and by his word in the midst of your faith-filled prayers. Faith works with our actions.

God will move mightily the same way he did in the bible. All the Hall of Faithers (Hebrews 11). Obeyed God and their faith moved them to action! Take whatever situation you have going on that you are believing God for and starting acting towards it, start moving towards it, believe God according to his will. It’s not praying to God for a million dollars or that you will lose 50lbs automatically, but it is praying to God according to his purpose and his plan and his will. That is a key. Praying according to his will and for his purpose in your life! 🙂

Facing Failure

facing failureThere is no justification for our sins, only God’s grace and Jesus’ redemption. When you fail and fall, it’s important to run to God and not from him. What else are we to do? Stay in a stand still, stay in regret, stay in the weight that Jesus paid the price for. God, our father wouldn’t want that for his child. He saved us by grace so that no man could boast. We all have areas in our lives that we struggle with, for some its unforgiveness, for some its lust, for some its judgementalism, for some its addiction and so on and so on.
We need to understand that we are all sinners and have all fallen short of the Glory of God. We all needs God’s grace just as much as the other. We can point out what we think others are doing that may seem “worse” to us to try and make ourselves look better, but really to God no sin is greater than the other. We need to be honest with OURselves and focus on how we can make OUR relationship with Jesus better, by spending more time with him, by casting our cares, by praising him.
Don’t focus on what others are doing and focus on yourself! We are all in this thing called life together, we have all fallen in different ways, we are all going through something that we can learn from and grow from, but please look to focus on yourself and not others. Don’t be judging others and condemning them for the speck or plank in their eye, when you yourself may have things that you could do better in your life. Maybe you’re not there where Jesus wants you to be, maybe you have your own marriage that could use some work, maybe you are out partying with your friends, maybe you are even just neglecting what you know is right to do and you refuse to do it because of pride, maybe you refuse to do it, because you plain and simple just want to do what you want. Well the more time you spend with Jesus, the more you will want to please him. It’s kinda a thing where you have to will it until you feel it. Make the decision to focus on your relationship with Jesus and stop looking at others. We are all jacked up in some way and we are all in this together. Wouldn’t it be nice to lift each other up when we fall rather than keep each other down?
I encourage you to really yield yourself to Jesus and your relationship with him. Spend time with him and you will walk away better for it. We all need God’s grace and none of us is better than the other. We all deserved to go to hell, but God’s grace provided us a way back into his kingdom.
There is no past to dark for the love of Jesus. We have to move forward with God, because that is what he asks us to do, he doesn’t want us not living for him or restoring our relationship with him just because we royally failed maybe time and time again. the devil may be sly and try and tell you “you’re not good enough”, “how could God love you anymore”, “you will never amount to anything”, “look at all those times you failed” – He will try to keep us stuck in our failures and our past. God, like a father, tells us to “keep going”, “you can do it”, “Nothing can separate my love for you”, “you can have mercy and forgiveness”, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. Take notice of the difference, the devil will try and keep you down and in your failures and in your past, God will pick you up and dust you off and tell you I know the plans I have for you and they are good, God will speak love, grace, and lead you to a brighter future. So I encourage you to spend time with Jesus, look at yourself and be honest with yourself about your life, don’t focus on what others are doing wrong, and listen to God’s voice and not the devils. The devil will always try and steal away the truth of God’s grace and redemption by bringing up your failures, but God will always speak life into your life.

life so aware

cropped-banban.jpgHey guys, I want to talk to you today about living a life that is consciously aware of God’s presence in our lives. It is kinda what I named my blog after. It is really easy in life to live every day chasing dreams, watching tv, spending time with friends and family, etc. But something that we need to realize is that God’s presence is with us, God is with us every second of every day. He will never leave us or forsake us. We need to make a conscious effort to be aware that he is there. Talk with him, ask him for guidance, praise him, thank him, these are all things that we can do on a consistent basis even when we are busy running errands and facing the trials of the day at hand. We can choose to walk life with God, and to include him in our everyday decisions and learn to dwell in his presence. When we are aware of God’s presence with us constantly, it will give us the strength to overcome temptations, it will give us the faith to make hard decisions, it will give us the trust that God will get us through it, it will give us the peace that God is working for the good of those who love him, it will give us the belief that miracles are not to far fetched. God is with you! How amazing and awesome is that!?!? When we learn to be aware that God is with us we can be encouraged in life in all areas. When we learn to be aware that God is with us, eternal things become more important than the little let downs that life can bring. If God is for us, who can be against us? Learn to live a life so aware.

John 15:4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”

God is with us and in us! His presence is all around us! Learn to be aware of the little things and the details that God works in your life and be thankful. Also be aware of the big miracles in your life and answered prayer. Be aware that God is with you when you face trouble, God is with you in every present moment, spend time with him and let him in on every occasion.

My challenge to you today is to make the effort to be consciously aware that God is with you always. Trust in him, cling to him, have faith in him, be thankful to him, love him, be obedient to him, be aware of him!

live and learn

live2So at the end of 2012, I want to talk to you today about reflection. Not getting down on yourself about all the failures, mistakes, or shortcomings of the year. But about looking at the past year reflecting on it, taking it in and learning from it. Something that I always say as a joke, but also very true is that “You live and you learn”. You mess up once, understandable, but take that experience and learn from it. Learn not to make the same mistakes over and over again. Really apply yourself, your will, and the strength and grace we have to overcome from the Holy Spirit to not making the same mistakes over and over again. Just like in life, when you overdraft by using your bank card when you don’t have any money, you learn not to do it again, or you get kicked in the hinder with a overdraft fee. A lot of times it is easy to get down on ourselves when trying to live this awesome Christian life for God and we screw it up by some sort of sin or mistakes, but since you made the mistake, go to God to ask forgiveness and he will give you a fresh start. Not only that, but you now have an experience in your life to learn from. Remember, God’s mercies are new every morning. He is always there to run to and to forgive any time we screw up (that’s not an excuse to sin, that would be another story, his grace isn’t a license to sin, but his grace is there to make us strong and to overcome.) This is a great time to reflect on the past year and learn from our mistakes and shortcomings and make the decision to change some things around whether that be overcoming an addiction, setting priorities straight, or just simply making more time for God and his call on your life. Yes, forgive yourself for your mishaps, but learn from them to not do them again. Ask God for grace and strength to keep strong and in pursuit of him. Know that when you do mess up, not to run from him further into darkness and sin, but run to him for he is there with open arms to receive you and love you and direct you.

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”

Phillipians 3:13 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,”

Forget the sins the you have committed, don’t dwell on them and let them drag you down, instead, you have learned from your mistakes, now strive forward towards God and keep your eyes on him. We all have a past, maybe even the past year that we want to forget, and we can do just that, give it to God and let his mercies cleanse you and make you clean, now that you are clean, run towards God and his plan for your life.

My challenge to you today is to reflect on what you have learned from life’s experiences this past year and declare this new year a time of dedication to God and his plan for your life. You have learned you can’t always do things on your own, you need God leading the way. You have learned that certain sins lead to certain results, but with God’s help we can over come that sin. You have learned that you feel emptier inside, because you haven’t given God the time of day when it comes to spending time with him and you aren’t pursuing his call in your life, so set aside that time daily to spend with him and follow where he leads. I challenge you to learn from this past year and decide what is right for you this year as it pertains to God and his calling and desire for you!