Monday, June 16, 2014

Trusting God leads us to a greater faith

God has been showing me this summer and over the years that the more I trust him with simple situations the greater faith that he gives me.  My faith has been growing as I trust God and surrender my daily struggles to him.  This has evolved into God showing me that he is good, faithful, compassionate, merciful, and gracious toward us daily.
In the Bible, Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.  He trusted him when an angel spoke to him to build an altar to sacrifice his son, Isaac and listened to the angel when he didn't kill Isaac.  Though this situation, Abraham trusted that God would provide for him daily.  His belief and trust in God's goodness was credited to him as righteousness.  It says in Hebrews 11 that he is in the faith hall of Fame because of this belief and trust in God.
I never really thought of myself as a faithful person until recently.  The other day I was reviewing my spiritual gifts inventory test I took with my small group and realized that faith was one of the fourth or fifth highest on my spiritual gifts.  Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) says that "faith is the confidence of what we hope for and the assurance of what we do not see."  It's an ability to look to the future though it may seem dim.  I feel it can mean an ability to trust in the inevitable as well.  
Everyone is given a certain amount of faith when they become a Christian.  We gain more and more faith as we get older and learn to trust God in different situations that we are put in.  As a serious circumstance comes up, we are called to trust God in faith that he will provide for us and see us through that circumstance.
Lastly, a maturing type of faith is one that will be able to withstand a lifetime.  It is a daily struggle that we are put through in order to conform us to his image (Rom 8:28-29).  Once we go through these struggles, then our faith produces a level of maturity in us.  Then, we able to trust God and he will produce a sense of righteousness as we go about our lives.  This type of faith that I am describing, is a faith that saves us.
How has your faith helped you through tough times? What are the way that our faith can save us? What are the characteristics of a mature faith?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Faith that saves us

God has given me a level of faith through certain times in my life in order for me the have greater trust and maturity in him.  When I was younger, I had a small level of faith, but through the years this faith glass has transformed into a pitcher.  Christian maturity as defined by Will Wyatt in the discovery Bible study I went through at Discipleship Focus is the ability to trust God in more and more situations.
After graduating from college then going through the transforming study of Discipleship Focus, I thought I knew I wanted to go into broadcasting or journalism.  God closed down those paths, (sounds cliche), but God knew the direction where he wanted me to go.  He led me to seminary and back to a desire to serve him in ministry in 2011 after a year of joblessness. Looking back on that time in my life, I knew God was leading me into the ministry.  I have always had a passion for youth ministry from my time serving in Young Life.
In my time at seminary, I have gained a greater passion to serve the youth in student ministry at the church.  God has been confirmed my desire to serve the youth in student ministry in serving him at church and taking classes at the seminary.  I just feel that God wants me to use my gifts to serve, minister to, and love the students/youth in full time ministry eventually.
Lastly, I recently graduated with my MACE degree from Southwestern seminary and I have been trying to figure out God's direction for my life.  God has given me faith to trust him every step of the way because of his past faithfulness in my life.  Recently, God has blessed me with this part time job in the Fort Worth area to work at Kroger's on University as a Courtesy Clerk doing multiple things.  This will allow me to work my way up with the company gain certain benefits and still serve at in the Christ Chapel student ministry for a few years until a full time job or internship comes open at Christ Chapel or somewhere else.  In Hebrews 11:6 NIV it says "And without faith it is impossible to please God,  because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  
God has increased my faith during these times in my life.  He has increased my faith from a glass into a pitcher and helped me grow into maturity in him. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Snoop's life: Lecrae: In not of the world

Snoop's life: Lecrae: In not of the world: Today I will blogging about something recent I heard about one of my favorite rappers Lecrae.  The thing I heard about him relates to John 1...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lecrae: In not of the world

Today I will blogging about something recent I heard about one of my favorite rappers Lecrae.  The thing I heard about him relates to John 17:14-18.
These verses discuss being in not of the world as Christians in this world trying to witness to and share our faith with others that don't know Christ.  14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them [d]from [e]the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 AsYou sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.    
Verse 14 describes how the world rejects us as Christians because we are not of the world.  God uses Jesus to protect us from Satan's attacks against us.  We are to stay in the truth of Christ despite attacks against us from Satan.  God is also sending us into the world to share Christ with those that don't know him.  That is our calling as disciples that God sends us out to be salt and light to others. 
I was reading an article about the Christian rapper Lecrae the other day.  It was really cool how he worked with these non Christian producers and rappers to improve his craft at rapping and on his future album.  God is doing something in this rapper that is trying to reach non Christian rappers for Christ.  By working with these people, he has the ability to share the love these people that don't know the message of Jesus Christ.
As Christians, we are to go into the world in order to reach the lost.  This was the slogan for Youth Lab a few years ago at Southwestern seminary.  As those in ministry, this is what God calls us to do daily.
I hope this blog encourages everyone that reads it today.  Even Christian celebrities can embody this model to the world and be a light to those that don't know Christ.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Snoop's life: Faith that God produces in us

Snoop's life: Faith that God produces in us: Thursday in the Mighty Men bible study we discussed how spiritual renewal can produce practical results in by having a commitment to God.  T...

Faith that God produces in us

Thursday in the Mighty Men bible study we discussed how spiritual renewal can produce practical results in by having a commitment to God.  This commitment to God's Word can lead to spiritual renewal and change in our lives.
The people of Israel entered into a covenant with God in Nehemiah 10 after a period of confession of sin and conviction of sin.  The people's main sin was intermarrying with other tribes. This covenant required affirmation and agreement and also required obedience and adherence.  The people knew the consequences for disobedience because of the curses discussed in Dueteronomy 28:15, 20.  In Nehemiah 10:30-35, the people made an oath in all parts to follow God and abide by his commands.
This oath showed the people of Israel's faith and trust in God.  This covenant was a new level of commitment for the Israelites; a sign that God's was renewing their hearts and minds through his Word.  Before this covenant was instituted and conviction instilled in them they had been neglecting the house of God.  In Nehemiah 10:39 ESV it says in regard to the people of Israel's response, "We will not neglect the house of God."  The people of Israel finally realized their need for God and how much they need to depend on him for everything in life.
God has been producing a spiritual renewal in me through a few hard years and times where God was calling me to trust him and faith.  Through those times,  God gave me the strength to trust him in faith.  During this time,  I grew in maturity in Christ.
One of those times came after I graduated from college at TCU I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  I went to D-focus that summer, a summer discipleship program and God used that program to give me the ability to trust him in that time in my life of looking for a job and living at home with my parents.
Right now, God is calling me to trust him in faith after graduating from seminary.  If I do this, God will increase my faith from a glass to a big pitcher.  By trusting in God in different circumstances in our life, he will increase our faith and maturity in him as we grow in Christ.
For those that read this blog, what is God calling everyone to trust him with? How can God increase our faith on a day to day basis?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Trusting God in the here and now

This time in my life of waiting where God is leading me to serve him and waiting on the future since graduating from Southwestern seminary in Fort Worth, TX has been a hard time.  It has been a time where I have had to trust God with the here and now.  It is a reminder that that God knows what I need throughout the day and he will provide for me in my life.
I was reading the story of how Jesus walks on water today.  God called out Peter to come to him on the water at the beginning of the story and Peter was afraid because of the storm. Peter was scared to take a step out when he walked on the water.  Jesus calls Peter out for his weak faith. Our God can calm the wind and the storms in our life.
During the storms in our life, we have to trust that God will lead us where he wants us to go, where he wants us to serve him, and the future for our lives.  God has a plan for us even when we don't know it at the time and will use these times to conform us to his image; Romans 8:28-29. When we trust him during these times, God will increase our faith and maturity in him.  Through this our dependence and trust on him will grow and deepen.
How is God calling us to trust him daily? What is God desiring us to trust him more in our life?