Wednesday, September 17, 2014

God's mercy

When I think about who God is and his attributes I think of his tender mercy.  His mercy is so vast, so pure, so divine.  He has had mercy on me on the deepest, darkest, times of my life.
God's grace and mercy are interchangeable in nature.  It says in Psalm 145:8-9, NASB "The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all. And his mercies are over his works." God does not treat us as we deserve but shows mercy on us when we sin and in hard times in our life.  God is still good at all times and his love endures through all the earth.  He is still on the throne through all the ages.
God has showed me mercy and love in times of my life when I needed him.  During the junior year of high school I got in my first car wreck.  The other person was injured and went to the hospital because I could not judge how far along they were in the intersection.  God showed me mercy because I did not get injured during the car wreck and the other person was not injured badly.  God used my Young Life leader and best friends from high school to pursue me during that hard time in my life and turn my heart back to following the Lord after falling away for a bit.
God showed me his grace and mercy in providing me a job during various times of my life.  Through his provision and grace I am able to see that God is still loving me and caring for me daily.   God is still on his throne every day.  He provides for me through the pleading of his Son, Jesus Christ.  Jesus shows his grace upon us Romans 5:8, "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
As I close this blog I hope you can remember God's grace and mercy daily.  God's compassion and mercy never fail and his mercy is endless.  Our God showers grace on us every day.
How can you seek out God's grace and mercy today? What are ways we can see God's grace in our life? How have you seen God's mercy in your life?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

God's movement

God's presence is power, mighty, holy, and overpowering.  It can overwhelm us and overtake us at times.  Other times, it can bring us to our knees.  Lately, God is showing me to just rest in his presence and power and he will move in my life.
God has been reminding me that I have to trust in his goodness and power to overcome in my life.   It says in Ephesians 3:20, "he is bigger than we can ask or imagine according to the power that is at work within us."  As Paul reminded the church of Ephesus of how they were before Christ I have to daily reflect on God's power and what he has done in my life.  I have overcome so much in my life already.  God promises to keep doing great things through me all of my life.
 God still has great plans for me in my life. Philippians 1:6 says, "God will continue working in you until the day of Christ Jesus." If we surrender to God daily and abide him he will conform me to his image.  Romans 8:29 describes this conforming process that God does in my life when we do present and abide in him daily.
Lastly, I have to trust in God's plan for me and my life.  God does things in his timing not ours.  We may want everything laid out for us but God waits us to wait for him to provide for us.  God has something planned for us that we could not know or imagine.  Trusting in God's timing is the hardest thing to do because Jesus had to wait 40 days when tempted by the devil.

Snoop's life: Contentment in my lot in life

Snoop's life: Contentment in my lot in life: Lately God has been teaching me to be content in where I am in life.  I think it goes back to my struggles of my driving problems in my past...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Contentment in my lot in life

Lately God has been teaching me to be content in where I am in life.  I think it goes back to my struggles of my driving problems in my past along with many other things. Sometimes I just want to fast forward to the future.  The main verse I will be using in the text is 1 Timothy 6:6-8.  It describes being content with the food, the clothing, and what God has given us.
The first area of contentment I want to discuss is contentment with my future.  God wants us to be content with where we are.  Paul writes in Timothy in verse six that a level of contentment leads to godliness. If we are trusting in God's provisions for our life, then food, clothing, and the money to pay for those things will be provided for us (1 Tim 6:8) This level of contentment is accomplished by resting in God's promises day by day.
The second area of contentment that I struggle with is contentment in finding a wife.  I admit I stress out about who I will marry or struggle with wisdom in pursuing certain girls that God puts on my heart to pursue. As Kevin DeYoung says in this book Just Do Something, I just need to be bold when pursuing girls and ask. Also, it is necessary that I remind myself to be content in my singleness in specific times of my life.   The overall big picture is that God will provide for my individual will if I just trust in his plans.
It is important in obtaining a strong sense of contentment in our growth in Christ that leads us to greater faith.  When we are content in Christ, we can trust that he will provide for us every step of the way.  Lastly, we just have to remember that God has a plan for our life and our our future (Jeremiah 29:11).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thoughts on Thailand mission trip

Here is a few thoughts on what God showed me during my recent Thailand mission trip.  God revealed to me three things during this trip that will be with me for a while.   The first is that though we try to do many things to get to heaven because Jesus died so we won't have to try to do good things.  The second thing God showed me during the trip is the nobody comes to a relationship with God without a saving relationship with Jesus Christ (John 14:6).  The last thing God showed me during this trip is that all truths point back to a creator God. 
The first principle I will discuss revolves around the fact that many people around the world and in other religions try to do good to get to heaven. Buddhists try to do good in order to get good karma to get to a certain level of heaven.  They believe if they do enough good Karma then they will get to that level of heaven and their good Karma will outweigh the bad Karma. While Muslims believe that they have to follow the five pillars in order to be accepted into heaven by Allah. Jesus died on the cross so that we do not have to try to do good to get to heaven anymore but by trusting in him he gives us the strength to live for him. 
The second principle that God showed me is that nobody comes to the Father without knowing Jesus Christ.  In Islam, Muslims believe that Allah is separated himself from man and that Jesus Christ is a prophet.  If Jesus was just a prophet, then why are there other references in John of him being equated with God? The many signs and miracles that Jesus did are equated with that of Moses in Islam. 
The last principle that God showed me through the Thailand mission trip was that all truths essentially point back to God.  This principle helps us as followers of Christ reason with Buddhists and lead them to a discussion about God. It is hard for other people of other religions to understand that 1 times 1 three times equals 1, thus showing how the Trinity of God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit works in union with each other.  Absolute truths give us a way to point out who the one true God in heaven and earth truly is.  This principle gives us the concepts and discernment to guide people to the greatness of God.  
These truths I am going to put into practice in my day to day walk with God.  They are helpful for engaging and sharing with those who don't know Christ.  Who are you going to share with about Jesus Christ today? What truths is God teaching us? 

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.