Just Do It.

Just do it

I do a really good job at psyching myself out. When I’m not really sure what to do, or if the Holy Spirit is leading me to do something, I’m really good at convincing myself to do nothing. It’s much easier to stay in my comfort zone, to not speak up, to not do anything that might make me and anyone else uncomfortable.

 

But, it’s those times when I do something that I feel led to do, something the Holy Spirit has placed in my head and is nudging me to do, that I feel alive. Those times when I decide just to do it, just to talk to that person, just to speak an encouraging word, just to speak up, are those times when I feel like I did what was right and I did what I should have done.

 

When I get out of those situations having not done what I felt led to do or encouraged to do, I second guess myself and wonder “what if”–what if I had shared my faith, what if I had invited them to something, what if I had taken the time to talk to that person and I learned a valuable lesson, what if on my way to encourage that person I actually became encouraged myself? Then I begin to wish that I had something, but now it is too late and I can’t go back to change my decision.

 

It is in these moments when I realize that when I feel led to do something, when I feel the Holy Spirit putting something not just in my head but in my heart, that I need to follow that old Nike slogan and “Just Do It.”

 

It is not always easy to share your faith; but it is necessary. It is not always comfortable to speak to someone you don’t know that well (or a complete stranger); but it can be rewarding (for both of you).

 

This entire post stems from inviting someone to the Easter services this weekend at my church:

I was at work and all the kids were asleep. The staff were talking a little bit, but normally I use this down time to finish whatever work needs to be done and then work on homework. So, I began to do my homework, but as I did I felt this overwhelming sense that I should put my homework down and talk to one of my co-workers who was there. I found a natural ending spot in my reading, set my homework down, and just kind of jumped into a conversation with a couple co-workers. From this stemmed a few conversations throughout the evening where I learned a bunch about all of my co-workers that evening. We all learned some about each other and it was a really encouraging evening. One of them the Lord had placed on my heart, so we continued to talk throughout the evening, and it just so happened I had packed a flyer in my work bag that morning. I knew the Holy Spirit was leading me to give him that flyer and invite him, but I didn’t know if it was the right place or time. I began to psych myself out and make excuses. But, finally, I resolved in my head that I was just going to do it. I had nothing to lose and he had everything to gain. So I went up and told him a bit about my church and handed him the flyer, inviting him to come on out to one of the services. He looked genuinely thankful, almost like he hadn’t been invited to a church in a long time! He even stood up and shook my hand to thank me for inviting him! It was encouraging and uplifting for both of us, and we walked away with a better relationship and basically a more positive outlook on life!

Maybe you never struggle inviting people or talking to people, but I think a lot of people can relate with the tentative nature of talking to someone about something that places us outside of our comfort zones. I hope you can relate to this. I hope it encourages you and you have the courage to ask someone from your work or friend group or family to go to an Easter service this weekend! You have nothing to lose, and they could gain the greatest gift of all, eternal life through a personal relationship of faith in Jesus Christ.

Don’t be afraid to ask. Just do it!

P.S. This being said, come on out to the Easter services at New Life Church!

NL Easter

Where is the Love?

There is so much evil in this world. I woke up this morning to seeing yet another news article about a school stabbing and a hit-and-run at a daycare killed a child and injured 13 others. There are so many things that happen in this world that just don’t make sense. All of the school shootings and stabbings, killing little kids like at Sandy Hook, kidnappings, cyber bullying leading to kids committing suicide, and on the depressing list goes.

 

The world seems so lost and evil and sad. So many people are searching for something but have no idea where to find it. Some find pleasure in killing because of what has happened to them, reciprocating the cycle. Some find it in causing other people anxiety and stress and pain in the kidnapping of a child. Others find it in doing something crazy to be the next viral story or video. I wonder if all of these things could somehow be avoided or at least decreased in frequency if follows of Jesus Christ lived out every single day the selfless, sacrificial love Jesus Himself lived out and calls us out to live. This, in fact, is a defining marker of a follower of Jesus Christ: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35), and the second greatest commandment, “…Love your neighbor as yourself…” (Mark 12:31). 

 

The world needs love. Not condemnation. The world needs hope. Not criticism. The world needs Jesus Christ. Not feel-good religion.

 

Everyone you see, everyone you meet, everyone in your life is going through something, has been through something, or will go through something difficult and painful. Don’t judge a book by its cover, don’t give mean or disdainful looks, don’t use hurtful words, but instead try to love them as Jesus would love them.It was Jesus Christ, not the religious crowd, that hung out with the lowest of the low, the people no one else cared about.

 

Today, and everyday, if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, live it out to the fullest and love the people around you so they can see Jesus Christ in you and regain trust and confidence that the media has taken away from the Christian name. We are called to love, pure and simple, because Jesus Christ loved us first (1 John 4:19).

 

And, if you’ve never made a personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, send me a message or comment and it would be my absolute pleasure to talk to you about the One who has given me purpose and made my life worth living!

 

Driving Purpose

“From then on his driving purpose startled his friends and enemies alike. Nothing could stand in the way of what he was conscious of having been sent to do.  To do his Father’s will was his very meat and drink (John 4:34).” - Christopher J.H. Wright, Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament.

“From then on his driving purpose startled his friends and enemies alike”:  People didn’t understand Jesus; neither His family nor His friends.  The disciples were clueless prior to His death and could barely grasp what Jesus was doing through most of His ministry here on earth.  But, Jesus knew His purpose; He knew why God His Father had sent Him to this world, and He fully accepted that calling.

What is your purpose in this world?  

I would argue that there is something more to your life than simply waking up each morning, working, going to school, making money, getting married, raising kids, etc.  I think the greatest purpose in each of our lives is to glorify God and make Him known.  Jesus knew this purpose as well [John 13:31].

When we look at Jesus, his purpose in life defined his actions.  His actions didn’t make sense to many at that time because they weren’t quite sure of what His purpose was.  Our lives should model this very thing.  Ultimately what others think of you or what others think you should do with your life is irrelevant in comparison to what God calls you to do with your life.  He calls us to “take up our cross daily;” or to “die so that we may live;” or to “view others as better than ourselves.”

The next sentence in the quote says, “Nothing could stand in the way of what he was conscious of having been sent to do.” Jesus knew and understood what He had been sent to do, and nothing could distract Him or change His mind from that singular mission and focus. The same could be true of us if we would put the time and effort required to figure out what God’s plan is for us. Steven Furtick, in his sermon series called “God’s Will is Whatever,” describes a way to discover God’s will:  When we are walking in God’s ways, we will be walking in God’s will.

So fully pursue the ways of God; pursue the principles He lays out in Scripture; meditate on and apply the Bible to your daily life; converse with God on a daily basis. The more consistently you converse with God and learn about Him through the Bible, the easier it will be to know and understand what He has you here on this earth to do.

Once you know this, don’t let anything stand in the way of accomplishing God’s will and plan for your life. You are the only one who can do what He has sent you to do. You are unique and God wants to use you. Don’t let the devil distract you through earthly passions and desires; through possessions and wealth or anything that is temporary.

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ: “Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” When our eyes are fixed on Jesus, they won’t be fixed on the temporary problems or situations we go through. We will see things through His eyes and His perspective and they won’t distract us from our mission.

“To do his Father’s will was his very meat and drink.”

 

Living life to it’s fullest isn’t about getting ahead and making money and making a name for yourself; it is about Jesus Christ and integrating Him into every minute detail and event in our lives in order to build a bridge to make Him known.

Building Faith in Kids

http://www.aaronbuer.com/how-to-build-faith-in-kids/

This is a short blog post about how to help build faith in kids. It is a simple method, but difficult to always live out. Trust, safety, and power. Trust and safety must be present in an environment where kids are going to get vulnerable and recognize the possible life change and transformation available through Jesus Christ. As someone who teaches God’s Word to others, it is an incredible privilege but also a huge responsibility. Those of us who teach God’s Word need to always remember the power of the words we say and the life we live as we come to be a living example of the life changing, transformative faith we are describing in words.

Overwhelmed with wonder

Jesus Christ is the Game-Changer. He is the Difference-Maker.

In Mark 9:15 Jesus appears on the scene where there was a large crowd of people and here is what they do:

“As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet Him.”

When you see Jesus Christ as He really is, and realize that “if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” I pray that you will be overwhelmed with wonder at who He is. Jesus Christ loves the outcast, loves the hurt, the loser, the lost, the confused, the mentally ill, the physically handicapped. Jesus loves them all and shows so often in the Bible where He is loving and caring toward those who do not yet know Him.

 

But, He doesn’t stop there. He wants to know them. He wants to know you. He wants you to be overwhelmed with wonder at who He is, because He is full of love and grace and mercy and wants to bring every single person into His family:

John 1:12 – “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God.” He wants you to be in His family.

So, if you want to know Him, discover who He is. Ask me about who He is. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible to discover who He is. That is Jesus Christ. When you understand who He is, you will be overwhelmed with wonder and you will run to greet Him into your life.

 

I have been and continue to be overwhelmed with wonder at who He is, how He forgives and loves and sets free. I have ran to greet Him and have never regretted a moment of it. I pray you will discover the joy and freedom of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

WWJD

WWJD

Do you remember these? These bracelets defined my childhood. We always talked about “What Would Jesus Do” and we were given these as a reminder. So when a decision would come up where we weren’t sure what to do, we could ask “What Would Jesus Do?”

It’s probably pretty cliche to say, but it really can be helpful in making decisions. What in fact would Jesus do in this situation? He faced a lot of different situations, so we can probably figure out what He would do in a variety of different places.

I recently talked about these bracelets to a group of college students and a group of elementary age kids. I think it’d be awesome if we brought these back into popularity. If more people started asking “What Would Jesus Do” I think it could make a huge difference.

Everything has a Price to Pay

Ben__Marshall:

Check out this blog post: http://lifelessons4u.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/everything-has-a-price-to-pay/

A good lesson for us all to think about. Everything has a price to pay; are we willing to pay it? What has it cost to get where you are? What will it cost to get you to where you want to be? Following God costs your life. But, “Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will find it” (Mt. 16:25). This is a price worth paying.

Originally posted on Life Lessons:

“Everything you want in life has a price connected to it. There’s a price to pay if you want to make things better, a price to pay just for leaving things as they are, a price for everything.” –Harry Browne


Think about your life. What price have you paid to get it?

When I was a child (around 10 or 11) I decided that I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. I expressed this desire to my parents. After they had some time to think about it, they sat me down for a talk. My parents told me they were willing to buy me a guitar (and send me to guitar lessons) on the condition that I practice every day. The choice was mine. I thought about it and decided I didn’t want to pay the price.



“Every luxury must be paid for, and everything is a luxury…

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