bible

Forged in Fire: Suffering & Christianity

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I’m not a big fan of television. I don’t have moral reasons against it, I just find it horribly boring most of the time. There are two shows that I will watch when they are on: The Walking Dead (of course) and Forged in Fire.

Forged in Fire is a contest show that awards money to the person who has forged the strongest blade. Many people view bladesmiths as an ancient career of the past but these men & women are beyond impressive with their craft! The finalists are given the task of re-creating a famous weapon from history. Each of them returns to their workshops, labors over the intricate details of their blades, and then returns to the show to have the blade tested.

Each person’s blade appears beautiful and well-crafted. The blades are tested through a series of stress tests. Each test is intense and has the power to shatter the blade and expose the blades imperfections. Every blade looks beautiful until it is under the scrutiny of pressure.

Might I suggest this is a perfect illustration of the Christian faith?

Peter, one of the leaders in the early church, describes the Christian faith this way:
You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7) 

Suffering, trials, and conflict reveal the true condition of our faith. If we are not deeply rooted in the Scriptures, committed to authentic community, and living by the power of the Holy Spirit we will not be able to endure these “stress tests.”


Are you going through a trial right now? What are you learning from God as a result? Let me know by leaving a comment, I’d love to hear from you! 

Keep Looking!

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For many of us that spend time on a regular basis immersing ourselves in the Scriptures, we can fall prey to dangerous familiarity. We begin to lose the sense of awe we once had; what was supernatural has become commonplace. Our eyes scan the same passage we have read hundreds of times and it feels as if God’s Word has been emptied of all meaning & power.

How do we prevent this?

We keep looking.

Desiring God, one of the ministries that has benefited me greatly in my walk with Christ, released this excellent video (If you are reading this in your e-mail, go to the actual page to see the video).


What did you think of the video? Leave a comment and let me know!

How to Encounter God Through the Bible

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Reading the Bible can be difficult! In this video, I share with you how to read the Bible for transformation rather than information.

Lectio Divina consists of three steps:
1. Readying your heart, mind, and spirit to encounter God.
2. Reading the passage and looking for the specific word or phrase addressed to you.
3. Resolving to live out what the Bible teaches.

What are some helpful techniques you have learned in order to understand the Bible better? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Let’s Work Together.

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I desire to add value to the lives of people by teaching the Bible in a way that is understandable, truthful, and relevant. We live in the midst of a culture that is biblically malnourished. Even within the church, we have people who can quote Scripture but have no idea how to live it out in their daily lives.

I want to see that changed!

I would love to work with you in order to begin that change in your community. If you are part of a church, youth group, Bible study, or any other group that would find it beneficial for me to share from the Bible, let’s work together! I would encourage you to check out my Recent Messages to have an understanding of how I communicate.

Are you interested? Head on over and Contact Me so we can begin planning and praying together!

We will discuss rates & travel when you contact me. I desire to work with people on all budgets and am willing to be flexible on speaking fees. 

 

Paul’s Mission (Chapter 29 – The Story)

I had the honor of sharing from the Bible this past Sunday at The Rescue Church. Below are the video and notes from the message!

The Story – Part 29
“Paul’s Mission”

Paul’s Mission and Transformation

  • The Apostle Paul was the first terrorist towards Christianity. (Acts 9:1-9)
  • One of the greatest witnesses to the world about Jesus is a transformed
  • Paul faced intense persecution in every city.

Our Mission (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

  • To some people we are death (2 Cor. 2:16).
  • To some people we are life (2. Cor. 2:16).

How does this apply to my life?

  • Repent and put your faith in Jesus for salvation.
  • Display Christ in every area of your life.
  • Pray that God would break your heart for lost people

Enjoy the message? You can join The Rescue Church every Sunday morning at 10am central time from the comfort of your computer via the iCampus!

No Ordinary Man

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Hi everyone! I had the honor of teaching the Bible this past Sunday at The Rescue Church. We are currently going through a series called “The Story” and are taking an adventure through the entire Bible.

I taught on Chapter 24 – No Ordinary Man – and it was one of the favorite messages I have done so I wanted to share it with you!

Below are the notes.

The Story – Part 24
“No Ordinary Man”

  • Jesus is a Teacher. (Mark 4:1)
  • Jesus is a Healer. (Matthew 14:36)
  • Jesus is a Provider. (Matthew 6:25-34; Mark 4:35-40)
  • Jesus is THE Lord. (John 6:29; John 6:66)

 

How does this apply to my life?

Jesus is a Teacher… Are YOU listening?

Jesus is a Healer… Are YOU believing?

Jesus is a Provider… Are YOU trusting?

Jesus is the Lord… Are YOU submitting?


Did you enjoy the message? Be sure to leave a comment and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

God Is Not Angry At You.

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God is not angry at you.

Whenever I see Street Preachers screaming at the top of their lungs, proclaiming that every single person around them is going to Hell, I cannot stand it! These “preachers” attempt to scare people into the Kingdom of God. They make God out to be an angry, abusive, and distant Father that is waiting to punish every slight act of disobedience with eternal fire, offering no mercy.

I want to share a powerful verse with you from the Psalms that I read today.

“For You, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive
rich in faithful love to all who call on You.” – Psalm 86:5

I want to draw three applications from this verse.

1. All of us are sinful and in need of God’s forgiveness.
Don’t get me wrong. When I say that God is not angry at you, I do not mean He will not punish sin. Scripture teaches that Hell is hot and eternity is a LONG time and all those who reject Jesus Christ will suffer for all eternity.

With that being said, God desires ALL to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the Gospel (That’s why Jesus lived a PERFECT life and died a BRUTAL death so you don’t have to!). He does NOT delight in the death of the wicked.

All of us NEED forgiveness – from the pastor to the prostitute; we all stand condemned apart from Jesus.

2. God is ready RIGHT NOW to forgive your sin.
You do not have to wait until you “have your life together” before you ask for forgiveness. We see all throughout Scripture that God stands ready to forgive us of ALL our sin. Our sin can ONLY be forgiven by putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.

Brennan Manning, in his book Ruthless Trust, helps us understand God’s love:

With a strong affirmation of our goodness and a gentle understanding of our weakness, God is loving us – you and me – this moment, just as we are and not as we should be. There is nothing any of us can do to increase His love for us and nothing we can do to diminish it.”

3. In order to be forgiven, you need to CALL on God!
There is a condition attached to this verse. Yes, God stands ready to forgive your sin but YOU have to do something. James teaches, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. (James 4:8)”

You absolutely cannot afford to stand distant from God!

He promises if you draw near to Him (regardless of the junk and sin your life) He will draw near to you. Then, if you confess your sin (which means agreeing with God about it) and repent by the power of the Holy Spirit (turning FROM your sin and TO Jesus) you will be forgiven.


I want to invite you today to confess your sin, turn to Jesus, and know that the Father stands READY to forgive you of ALL sin (see 1 John 1:9)!