The Rebelution The Modesty Survey

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lost and Found

This past Sunday, I got out of work, put my book bag, lunch box, and phone on my trunk. I proceeded to unlock my car to get in and go home to sleep because exams were this past Tuesday. I got past Flower Hospital and onto the main road when I realized I didn't have my phone! I turned around and looked and looked. When I couldn't find it, I went home and remotely installed several tracking programs (technology is pretty amazing, isn't it?) Well, to make a long story short, a good Samaritan found my phone, texted me his number (I called and texted my phone with my Mom's phone and the gentleman texted me his number. That's how I was able to reach him.) and I went and met him at a local diner. He refused any reward which was honestly very kind of him but also humble.

This entire fiasco made me think: I lost my phone, yes, and I was frantic to find it but I am never like that with anything spiritual. My thoughts immediately went to Luke 15 when Jesus tells the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. I imagine everyone knows about these parables especially if we grew up in a church where they told Bible stories to the kids. I find it interesting that the first two stories are not about humans but tie back to a heavenly perspective in that Jesus then states while these people are rejoicing over material things, I rejoice the same about a soul being saved. 

I feel like the Pharisees that Jesus describes in Luke 15:4 saying, What man among you (talking about the Pharisees here), if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 

My Mom and I were talking about this because the entire time I lost my phone, I was panicking. I praise the Lord that my initial reaction was "it is in the Lord's hands and if I lose it, it's His phone anyways so who cares" but as soon as I got home, I panicked and went into berserk mode. I told my Mom how I felt about being a hypocrite for being so zealous to quickly find my phone but a lost soul? Oh, I'm sorry not for me. 

I feel so ashamed because I sadly feel and KNOW for a fact that my focus is not on others, not on their souls but on my own soul. On me! I care more about my things than anything. Why? Because I bought them or made them. I worked hard to get those items and if they break or lose them, I will do anything in my power to fix them or find them. How is this different than a soul? Someone who is not a follower of Christ? It is no different. I am not standing on my soapbox here to say, "You must go soul winning X amount of times per week." I am saying that it is good to witness everywhere you go. Don't be some overzealous Baptist Pharisee wannabe (I can say that because I grew up Baptist lol). Preach Christ humbly and in a kind manner but not subtly either! If you have an opportunity to bring someone to the Lord, then seize that moment! If they get offended, it's their problem! You have planted a seed and you have tried. At the same time though, you can be in their face but in a kind manner while preaching Christ! You can quote scripture which is your best offense and defense, bring them to scripture and show them the truth FROM GOD'S WORD and still be humble! It is not your words. It is God's words who you are saying. Sorry for the little rant on soul winning there and how to say things. A bit of Baptist came out again. ; )

I ask this of you now: what are your priorities in your life. Is it the material things of this world? Or is it the people of this world and their souls? Do you care more about the latest technology, golf equipment, basketball game on a Sunday night? Or do you care about how to better prepare yourself for the time ahead and how you can be a better witness to those who are so lost and are drowning in sin? Let us work together to tell others about our wonderful, amazing, marvelous Savior. We as Christians all play a very important part great and small in being vessels, tools that God can use to win the lost. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Put On Your Running Shoes

It's funny. As a kid, I used to listen to Patch the Pirate almost too much. Yeah, the voice acting and stories are extremely cheesy but the CDs (tapes for me lol) were chock-full of doctrine and life lessons, as simple as they might have been.

I was confronted by some past sin recently and was then directed, by God, to focus on an old Patch the Pirate when he goes down under to Australia. I vaguely remember the premise of the story. Something about a wombat going in some spaceship, one of the crew members getting a buzz cut by a boomerang, some talking kangaroos that could punch people and even some of the crew sleeping in her pouch with her son, you guessed it, Joey. I know there were life lessons in the songs about forgiveness (Maybe? Forgive me, it's been a decade since I last listened to it) but the one song that stuck out to me the most was someone said something about Joseph running from sin. They sang the song "Put On Your Running Shoes." It spoke of Joseph having control over all of Potiphar's household except for Potiphar's wife. When Potiphar's wife was tempting Joseph, he "put on his running shoes."

As simple as that is, it is really good. Running from sin sometimes is quite difficult. My cousin and I were talking about sin and what sin or sins affects our life the most. The sins that affect me the most are music and keeping myself sexually pure. I have a past with both music and lusting (being very frank here). I am a guy and the lust of the flesh and eyes is ever prevalent. I personally feel that music can and will cause a hindrance in your spiritual walk with God but I am not here to talk about convictions and whatnot.

My point is this: I sin often. For crying out loud, I sin every day! When I attended Bob Jones, my PC (prayer captain) said to our prayer group one night, "Tomorrow, I want you all to focus on what you are saying and thinking. Write down every time you sinned or were half way through sinning. That way, you are conscious about what you are saying, thinking, and doing so you are less prone to sin." This was a great idea. Hard but a great idea nevertheless. To tie this into what I was saying previously, I bring this up to say this: how conscious or how aware are we of us sinning? Do we know we are sinning and let it slide or do we go around everywhere we go thinking about what we are going to say, do, and think and then act accordingly if it is a sin? No. That's difficult but we should. Then, when we are subconsciously tempted or tempted outright, we can run far away from that temptation when it knocks at our door.

So, what to take away from this? To sum things up, do your best to be consciously aware of sin before creeps up on you and the temptation becomes too great for you to handle. That sounds terrible but you need to be honest with yourself. God can protect you, yes but don't expect to win at the last minute. It's like you're playing basketball, it's the 4th quarter and you're down by 15 points. The coach doesn't say with 10 seconds left in the game, "Okay guys, I know you have not played your hardest and we haven't put in our best player yet but since it's almost game over, I guess we can play our hardest and put in the best player on our team to try to win this game." NO! You don't ever hear a coach say that! That's the same thing with dealing with sin! Yes, it's difficult to battle sin but it is worth it all in the end. I challenge you to do what my prayer captain said to us that night: to focus on what you are saying, thinking, and doing so you can see how much you sin and how much you need to run from sin. It WILL open your eyes to how much sin is in our lives and how much we desperately need a Saviour!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Is There Anything Too Hard For God?

I was writing a post but I decided to put it on the back burner for a bit because something happened tonight that was a huge impact in my life. Honestly, right now, I am extremely stressed. Super stressed. I have to write 2 papers for 2 classes ending for the summer in the next 1 1/2 weeks on top of planning a bachelor party for a friend of mine who I am the best man for on top of planning a trip to Cleveland for the middle of next week, paying off a large bill, and paying for car damage because I accidentally hit a parked car at my house, which mind you was the first accident I ever got into in my few years of driving, thank the Lord.

I ranted a bit on Facebook. The opening line was a bit harsh saying that I wanted to shoot myself because I was stressed out but I ended with God has this. The first line got my friend's attention. He was quick to private message me on Facebook saying if I was thinking about suicide, it was NOT the answer! I would be missed my many and I should seriously reconsider what I should do to relieve my stress. I rarely if ever post anything negative on Facebook because I want it to be an uplifting time for all. My friend and I conversed back and forth for a bit and I reassured him that I was fine and would never consider suicide. I have to admit that his little blip of a message was extremely encouraging even though he is not saved. It is amazing how God can use even the unsaved to get our very core and dig deep to prove His point that He will never leave us nor forsake us! Praise the Lord!

There is a song entitled "Is There Anything Too Hard for God?" It is a wonderful song that really lifts your spirit at anytime especially when you are struggling with something difficult. Here are the lyrics:

Verse 1: It's out of your hands, you've done all you can do
You've given God the problem, it's no longer up to you
You've prayed the prayer of faith, you're standing on God's truth
While you're waiting on the answer, He has a question for you

Chorus: Is anything too hard for God?
Who's got a problem beyond His power to solve?
Are there situations He's not the Master of?
Is anything too hard for God?

Verse 2: Only believe, trust His word, you'll see
His plans are now unfolding, performing perfectly
It's clear how much He loves you, look at all He's done
For all your questions, there's really only one

Chorus: Is anything too hard for God?
Who's got a problem beyond His power to solve?
Are there situations He's not the Master of?
Is anything too hard for God?

Tag: Are there situations He's not the Master of?
Is anything too hard for God?

I will admit I almost cried when my friend told me to not consider suicide. Why? It was spoken from a true friend. A friend who respected me and told me he loved me and cared about me to look out for me. I honestly believe that God spoke through him to get to me. It was as if I was hearing the Lord directly. It was very humbling.

There is nothing hard for the Lord. Jeremiah 32:27 states, Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me? My God has created the universe, knows every star in the sky, every hair on our head, everyone by name in the world, can move mountains, Colossians 1:13 states, He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, the list goes on and on! I am so thankful that God can do all these things. I am so glad that God cannot fail, or ever get tired of hearing us pray, He cannot break a promise, He will never STOP thinking about us, nor will God stop loving us!

God, once again, proved to me that even in the darkest of times, the Valley of the Shadow of Death, He can lift me up and set me on the Solid Rock, lead me into the light. What a blessing it is to know that God is always there. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Human Trophy

This post I would like to discuss people, more specifically, Christians, that we put on pedestals claiming that they are great and are such amazing people that we look up to as if they are the greatest godly person on the entire earth. I know I looked up to a coworker ever since I found out that this person was a Christian. I respected her very much especially since she was very godly. As I got to know her and we started to talk, I saw more and more flaws. It became a problem that I really started to become bitter because she was acting not like the person I thought she was but rather a human being (shocker). I put this individual on a pedestal and it became a serious heart issue. I did not tell anyone of this matter because it became more embarrassing than anything. I talked to God about it and asked for guidance in this area. 

1 Corinthians 3:5-9 statesWhat then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

What is this saying? We as Christians are all servants of God, even the greatest of spiritual giants. When we put others on a pedestal, we are misplacing our confidence in God. Extraordinary people are ordinary people who do "little" tasks for God. We always think of greatness in terms of the great tasks. The path of greatness is the path of “little” tasks. As we become faithful with little, he gives us a little more. 

Father, Where Shall I Work Today?

“Father, where shall I work today?”
And my love flowed warm and free.
Then He pointed me out a tiny spot,
And said, “Tend that for me.”
I answered quickly, “Oh, no, not that.
Why, no one would ever see,
No matter how well my work was done.
Not that little place for me!”
And the word He spoke, it was not stern,
He answered me tenderly,
“Ah, little one, search that heart of thine;
Art thou working for them or me?
Nazareth was a little place,
And so was Galilee.”

Those who are truly great see God at work and give Him the credit. The servant Paul thinks of his job as mere planting, and Apollos’ job as mere watering. God is the One that does the real work. God does what we cannot possibly do. God’s work involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities. There are no superstars in this task, only team members performing their own special roles. (note 3:7-8).  We can become useful members of God’s team by setting aside our desires to receive glory for what we do. Don’t seek the praise that comes from people—it is comparatively worthless. Instead, seek approval from God. TEAM players don't seek to be placed on the pedestal. TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More. They work for the betterment of the team.