Depth Perception

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I’ve been a follower of Christ for almost 21 years now (the day I surrendered my heart to Jesus). I’ve committed my life through baptism publicly twice (first for a girl, second time for life). Yet if you were to ask me what my greatest achievements for Christ has been up to this point; I’m not sure is have a good answer. It seems like much of my “Christianity” has been summed up in my identity crisis between the new life I’ve chosen in Christ; and the world that feeds my lusts for the here and now.

I’m 37 for about 2 more months and I’ve made a goal for myself to be a public speaker for Jesus Christ by the time I’m 40. That’s a pretty good goal that seems achievable! Yet I repeat again that I’ve been a Christian for 21 years and I’m not a public speaker for Christ yet?? What have I been doing all this time for real?? Better yet, what have YOU been doing for Him since your preempted rebirth?

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I feel a lot like the two pictures above. You think you are doing right, living right and being the absolute BEST for Jesus, as His sheep and then you realize some time later (for each differently) that your perception of reality in Christ is NOT the same perception He sees….let alone anyone else! At a phenomenal leadership conference Amber and I was blessed to attend this weekend at Southeast Christian Church, my brother-in-Christ Dave Stone (Senior Pastor), used these words that shocked my heart a beat:

Christian leaders aren’t much different than strippers; we both have our own stage names.

Think about it. My eyes, maybe even your eyes….have been closed. Our perceptions have been focused on our stage names the world has given us. The names of our sins, failures, addictions, obesity, etc. JESUS doesn’t call us by those names even though he knows all about them. JESUS calls us by our real names for He doesn’t recognize those perceptions! Our biggest weaknesses, in my opinion, are allowing Jesus’ love for us to be overpowered by the perceptions of our mistakes! To the world, Perception is REALITY, but reader let me tell you….to Jesus, PERCEPTION IS A REASON FOR GRACE!

Irrelevant, insignificant, imperfections that we close our eyes to anything that is different that was PAID FOR by the blood of our REDEEMER! The church, sadly enough, has bought into this perception of itself and tainted God’s magnitude of His power and meaning of His words to make the gospel WEAK. Christians are living defeated lives when they aren’t the ones who’ve been defeated!

So here’s the question….What has happened to our Depth Perception? What has happened to our humility of truth? Where we open the core of our insecurities and fears to see God’s perception of who He sees? No one ever feels good enough or even worthy to carry the cross; yet we cannot hold on to that unworthiness as truth!

Christ died for us when we were unable to help ourselves. We were living against God, but at just the right time Christ died for us. Very few people will die to save the life of someone else, even if it is for a good person. Someone might be willing to die for an especially good person. But Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and by this God showed how much he loves us. (Romans 5:6-8 ERV)

We can believe we are good enough and that when others look at us that we may even have it all together. Baring that cross proudly and through all thistles of life! You believe that?? How many times have you felt the stick of the world’s poking at your heart? Having a shallow perception of your life when you claim to know (and have a relationship with) Jesus Christ prevents the unchurched from seeing the VALUE of His sacrifice! We are simply not rooted deep enough in Christ.

The North American church as a plethora of choices to be educated; great teaching in abundance, but a poverty of obedience!

Until recently, I have felt like I’ve lived my walk within that poverty of obedience. Poor in commitment and bankrupt in faith; my acceptance of fear and inadequacies affected my endurance of His word in my service. I was tired emotionally trying to put real intimate effort into my messages and my walk. I would slip and curse word here and a negative thought there. Glance impurely multiple times and be mean to my wife and daughter. All along wanting to serve Christ better and more often. My depth perception was adequate leader, husband & follower and I was OK with that. But what I was seeing happening wasn’t what was real. It was the world infecting my faith.

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Doesn’t that sound so like King David? A man after God’s own heart, but a man who emotionally responds like this:

Lord, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you. For my days disappear like smoke, and my bones burn like red-hot coals. My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite. Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones. I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness. I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof. (Psalms 102:1-7 NLT)

The world caused David to cry out to God and for him to admit to his God that, My heart is sick, withered like grass. Yet David didn’t allow that perception of how he was feeling currently define who he was in The Lord! God continued to show the depth of His perception of David by responding to his cries. Thus David continued to raise praise to The Lord for His faithful responses to his displayed intimacy!

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. (Psalms 103:1-4 NLT)

He redeemed David and I know He has redeemed me. He has redeemed you too! You may not know it as you read this, you may haven’t even experienced His real intimacy within; BUT His perception of who you are is out of this world! I realized that more and more lately as my passion to want to serve as a FT minister again was shown to me through HIS perception that I already am! No matter if I have to serve as a Pastor in a Terminix uniform or at a pulpit preaching; I AM in full-time ministry! His perception of my heart is showing through the world’s status quos and my heart FEELS and my eyes SEE the difference of who Jesus sees me as! My eyes are opening again….

Are they finding the REAL thing in you? Is His real perception of your white as snow forgiven self shown through you? We can’t make Disciples for Jesus in non-Jesus ways! My heart LONGS to serve and I’m content in whatever position God sees that being. Do I want to preach and teach 24/7? Absolutely! With all off my heart!!! But is that the depth perception of where God sees me? Maybe….but until that becomes a reality through HIS eyes, I will see myself as He sees me (to the best of my human ability) and serve Him, pray to Him, & walk with Him fervently. 21 years and counting is just a babe….I have an eternity to go!

My depth perception of Jesus is that He IS walking on the water of life and I WILL reach out, and go to Him! He’s all I want and need…..is He for you?

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A Classic Line of B.S.

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When I was a child I was like many youngsters and often fantasizes about doing impossible feats for my age. Jumping out of airplanes, bungee jumping, being a SilverHawk shooting lasers out of my forearms….(dating myself aren’t I?….LOL). But another curious adventure dreamt about was riding a mechanical bull. No, not a real bull because they’re too scary! 🙂

To this day I have never ridden a mechanical bull and frankly, wouldn’t want to now. Yet the thought of riding one and accomplishing that dream would have given me something to talk about! “Man, you should have seen how I controlled that bull! I mean that thing didn’t have a chance of bucking ME off!” This would sound like a classic line of B.S. (Or in “G” terms, a line of bull poopy!)

Most likely I would have crashed and burned, hurting my pride in the process. Growing up, I continued the fantasies of the what if’s in my life and for some, breeding the expectations of others falsely due to my superior “B.S.” that I so expertly used to make myself look good. When maturity finally sunk in and the reality of fantasy versus reality of life finally distinguished itself, I was left with a lot of unusable “B.S.” 🙂

Enter the NO B.S. ZONE!!

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I learned the hard way that I couldn’t properly show who I was to others with the coating of B.S. being the first thing they heard. After so long of repetitive use, the “B.S.” becomes what we should dread it becoming….the truth…to us. Once a lie, or an exaggerated truth is used enough, it becomes one’s truth no matter what others are saying. it becomes a practiced falsehood of who you REALLY are! No one is impressed anymore and no one tends to believe you upon the first breath used.

So how does someone leave the The B.S. Zone? Well, if you’re in Christ, and REALLY trying to love for Him, then you know you’re a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)! It’s time to look past the old you full of the smelly fecal mouth; it’s time to use the fresh breath of the Holy Spirit! Aaahhhh!!! Doesn’t that taste better?? 🙂

One do the dangers I feel it’s necessary to point out is as your walking with Christ, DO NOT let your witness become a different side of “B.S.”! Meaning, too many times if you are uncomfortable in your faith, you will often times define your own faith and biblical knowledge. In turn tour witness becomes its own ill-defined view of Jesus that isn’t quite biblical. Whether your preaching or teaching; volunteering or working; praying or reading, your vocalized rendition because a classic line of B.S.!

But you will never again say, ‘The message of the Lord,’ because the only message you speak is your own words. You have changed the words of our God, the living God, the Lord All-Powerful. (Jeremiah 23:36 NCV).” Gods words are much too important and meaningful to make your own spin on it! What He means, HE MEANS! If you go about your walk with Christ with an attitude of whatever you tell someone is the Gospel; than your giving them less than His best! As Paul said to Timothy, “Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. (1 Timothy 4:2 BOOKS)” Do you hate the word hypocrite? I know I do! Being someone you’re not, especially someone who God doesn’t intend you to be….is SAD! Who wants to live a life as a FAKE?

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So why does all this mean something to me? Well, since I’ve been pastoring I’ve done a lot of thinking on how well I’ve spoken God’s word effectively. Each time I’ve been honored and blessed to be His vessel and preach I’ve done as much as I can to study and prayerfully interpret what He’s leading me to say. However there is times that I struggle to believe that what I’m planning is His will and not some lack-luster B.S. I’ve conjured up! However, the more He moves in hearts, the more He shows His love through what He has me say, I KNOW there is less “B.S.” and more of Jesus Christ in me!

My father was used by The Lord I believe recently when I pondered this struggle after my latest sermon. He said, “How was your sermon today son?” I proceeded to tell him how much I felt the spirit move through me and how blessed I felt. He returned by saying, “You mean that great Taylor B.S.?” Knowing my Dad and how much I love and respect him more than any other person I know; AND the fact that he loves to joke with me A LOT….I wrote the comment off as a joke. However, after we hung up, I sat there awhile and wondered deep in my heart, “Is that all you bring in Sunday morning Chad? The famous Taylor B.S.?” Even though most all my being believes it not to be….noticed I said most?? There’s always some doubt looming because of all my human genes. But that isn’t Christ living IN ME!

The Lord said, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Pull yourself up by the roots, and plant yourself in the sea!’ and it would obey you. (Luke 17:6 GWT)” My faith, even of its small, is focused enough on what God wants for us all to know that the mustard seed will grow God’s branches strong!

Surprisingly, within a half hour later my Dad called back and told me that he wanted to apologize for saying I was full of B.S. “I know your passionate about what you say and it means so much to you. I didn’t mean to call it B.S. I’m very proud of you and what you stand for and want to do” This emotional statement meant more to me at that moment than most any other comment I remember my Dad saying to me. For him to step out of his normal comfort zone and open up to me and tell me he’s sorry and is proud of me…..is God using him to encourage me!

So if your reading this now and have struggled to separate your “worldly B.S.” from your heavenly voice; it’s time to see the light in you! You need to see the “B.S.” isn’t The Lord and it isn’t the YOU He made for His kingdom work! Take the classic line of B.S. and embrace the eternal walk with the Holy Spirit!

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV)

Empty Passion & Pointless Pursuits

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In the course of my walk with Christ, I have come to the realization that the closer I get to God, the more passionate I feel. The more I also realize that people who have passions outside of Christ are empty. They invest so much energy, time and commitments into temporary things; that when it’s all said and done, they will still be empty.

All the challenges were facing today as a country, as individuals and as Christians is almost more then many can bare. But why? Have you ever sat back and wondered WHY all this bothers you so bad? Recently I experienced a number of different “rants” about people’s joys and frustrations over politics, sports, holiday preps and even church. Social media, billboards, news editorials, TV commercials, etc; shine a negative light on many over zealous and over exaggerated passions expressed about each!

Here’s the problem and continual deep frustration I see with all this: Yeah, I’m a Colts fan….Yeah, I’m a St Louis Cardinals fan, and Yeah, I’m a Indiana Hoosier….BUT, my passions for them only go so far. Each has a boundary; each has a respectable limit. I constantly meet people who blow up their outlets to express their passions (pro or con) about their teams, churches, party, whatever! Yet even the churches show more passion about the church itself more than the Savior who built it!

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Empty passions are those areas of desire that are half-hearted, lukewarm or just plain fake. Those commitments that you only do out of obligation or to look good; not those passions you INVEST in! Weight loss goals, educational goals and most importantly, your spiritual goals and desires. We tend to drive our most popular passions around those that are easiest to be accepted. When opinions are involved, passions of importance to life take a back burner!

Pointless pursuits are those pursuits that absorb a lot of time and give out little to no fulfillment or satisfaction. The picture below represents a cute rendition of a pointless pursuit:

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Charlie Brown desires to play baseball….gets ready, goes out to play….in the rain!! His pursuit, driven by passion, led him there without paying attention to the conditions surrounding his pursuit! How many times have you done the same?

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How many times has your pursuit for a passion led you astray or worse, led you from Jesus Christ? You might be thinking to yourself, “I have NEVER let my passions take the place of Jesus!” Well….what about lessen His importance? Uh-oh!! Hit a nerve? How many times now?? The game is coming on tonight….I can’t make church. You wear more clothes supporting your favorite team than you wear Jesus to others supporting Him!

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So many issues in the nation today. The fighting and bickering amongst the “parties” looking similar to a play pin of whining babies and what does it do to the avid passionate person? Makes them forget all other things and makes the core of their communication about all the negative hype! Now don’t get me wrong, it’s important to care about our nation and what’s going on with it; BUT when the political drama unfolds in God’s house….that’s when a real awakening is needed! The passion you have for who’s right and who’s wrong is an empty passion; for as the world decays in sin, we need NOT decay with it by giving the negativity the light!

A pointless pursuit is trying to sway an opinion to an empty passion! If Jesus were your real center of your life….and I mean the REAL center, not just the voiced but not acted out; then the rest of your passions would find their place! Why can’t we find the same deep passion and pursuit of our daily lives for Jesus Christ?? In his book, Not A Fan, Pastor Kyle Idleman writes, “The reason Jesus is so adamant about followers surrendering everything is because the reality is this: the one thing we are most reluctant to give up is the one thing that has the most potential to become a substitute for Him.” What are you refusing to give up for Jesus to have room in your dominant life?

I know we can see, feel, and maybe even touch those things we invest our passions in, yet of we are faithful believers in Jesus Christ, our investments should be in full pursuit of Him! “In all ways ACKNOWLEDGE HIM and HE will make your paths straight!! (Proverbs 3:6)” In Colossians 4:4-6, Paul writes, “Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:4-6 NIV)” Has your empty passions pushed others away from Jesus? Are you the “Christian” that has Ill-defined who Jesus is to outsiders because your passions are unhealthy for Him?

If anyone would come after me (PURSUIT), he must deny himself (PASSION) and take up his cross daily and FOLLOW me. (Luke 9:23)” Emphasis there is mine, but really it’s Jesus’. Why don’t we get it?? Why can’t we SEE that He loves us and wants us to love Him the same….with PASSION….and an unwavering PURSUIT that never ends!!

Forget the drama!! Forget the politics of sinful men who truly don’t have Jesus daily!!! PRAY FOR THEM! Forget if your teams loses or the coach is a jerk!! PRAY FOR THEM!! Lie them through failure; it’s good training for life! Forget about the traditional ho-hums of the church that make it boring or stagnant! CHANGE IT!! Don’t wait for it to be done by someone else….BE THAT SOMEONE!! Forget the world and all it’s junk….we are not of this world, REMEMBER? Love them, hate the sin!

It’s that forever AWE moment that never gets old and always brings you peace this world will NEVER bring! The PASSION is for Jesus Christ; the PURSUIT, is for the lost through His love in you! Find it, embrace it….LIVE FOR IT!

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Do you Recognize me?

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Do you recognize me?

I am small with the potential to be large.
I am smooth and possibly shiny, yet also per conditions surrounding can be jagged or cracked.
I am of many colors; most of which are attractive yet are unnoticed….even by me.

I am the ultimate earthly protector right down to my core; I let nothing penetrate nor let anything out.
I am God’s perfect creation, yet my own biggest curse….do you recognize me?

I am but a shell. 

A shell that doesn’t let my greatness out.
A shell that is beautiful inside and out.
A shell that needs his creator to break the REAL him out!

Do you recognize yourself?

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Jesus and “The Cliques”

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Remember this group of rebel teens from the 1980’s?? Come on….you know you can almost name each person! The infamous Breakfast Club is a unique movie about a group of kids that didn’t stand out with “the crowd” at school and each found themselves going against the grain and landing in after school detention. There they began to form friendships and commonalities as rebels in their own right. This could be the movie that helped define the term clique.

Cliques have many different definitions and styles, yet the foundation of what exactly it is according to Merrim-Webster is, “a small, exclusive group of people.” Small and exclusive, private and intimate; these people set out to be away from the majority of the “crowd”. Growing up I can look back and say that I never was a part of a clique; only groups of people with a common focus. What’s the difference you might ponder….? One word: ATTITUDE!

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Fast forward around 20 years and we more likely remember the popular movie Mean Girls where “The Cliques” were defining what attitude in the small and exclusive was. Today though cliques are alive and well; however the drama of the groups are not as noticeable as made out in the movies and in your everyday high schools. Yet the negativity itself leads many to complain, judge and gossip from the outside; where the clique circle embraces the separation from the norm and values the narrow-mindedness that the intimate opinions develop for themselves.

Children are isolated, picked on and made fun of (to name a few) by the majority of these cliques simply because of the social statuses and undeveloped identities. Adults are a bit different though. They relate on a clique setting for many reasons. First, a group of “besties” from way back form a defined clique just because they always hang out. They may not intentionally desire to be defined as a clique, but society has already placed them there due to intimidation of their outward viewed solidarity. Second, adults could be seen as a group of people (5 or less usually) who have a common bond with their kids activities, church activities, work relationships, etc. (common habits or activities). These people may have a good, relatable personality; yet their frequency with the others they see often cause them a level of comfort to where they just stay surrounded by the same people all the time.

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In church, it seems similar to high school (in my personal opinion), where when a group of ladies or even guys (more rare) gather together and hang out socially or work on committees together or even do ministry activities; others who feel left out will resort to juvenile behavior. The gossip and judgement all comes more frequent and the focus that was meant to be on the “clique” turns more on the bothered gossipers. Christians, I hate to say, are some of the worst “cliquers” and reactors to the cliques. All this becomes whirlwinds that destroys churches and many people’s faith.

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Does Jesus have an opinion about these types of people? In Luke 9 Jesus had to teach John and the other apostles a simple lesson. Schism (meaning “division or disunion, especially into mutually opposed parties) between believers is wrong. John learnt his lesson from Jesus in verses 49-50, “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” The basis of division was not over whether the man was right or wrong, but over the simple fact that he was not one of John’s group.

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The Apostle Paul dealt with a form of a clique of his own with the church of Corinth. Paul had to condemn their behavior in 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, “I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter, ” or “I follow only Christ.” Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!….This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. (1 Corinthians 12:25, 26 NLT)

Let’s make the purpose of my blog and thoughts known; the term clique is seen as a negative. It brings with it an attitude, both within the group and outside the group of mostly a negative attitude. If we are of Christ, for Christ, representing Christ by our whole selves; then any kind of negativity needs to be avoided! Paul later said it best to Philemon in verse 6, “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. (Philemon 1:6).”

I used to get bothered and gossip about my co-workers and their “clique” that wear their Bluetooth headsets everyday and literally work and have their close buddies in their ears just a yackin away while they worked gossiping about who knows what and never called me! (No bitterness or negativity there huh?) 🙂 We must step back and see that our conversations and attitude about not being involved sounds like the above a lot and we don’t even realize the impact that has AGAINST our mission for Christ!

Take a moment today, after you read this, to step back and look at your relationships. Why do you hang out with certain people? What draws you to them and their friendship? How does those relationships TRULY affect your witness and cause for Christ? And you looking outside….why does their “clique” bother you so much? Why are you so juvenilely jealous?? Isn’t Jesus and His attention worth more than what you crave with them? Most importantly….WHY CAN’T YOU SHOW THEM THE JESUS THAT CALLS YOU TO HIM? The Body of Christ cannot work together effectively without all the parts….LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Love one another……BE JESUS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE HIS PEOPLE!!!

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The Value of His Presence

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It amazes me what we as humans hold our value in. I mean, when I was younger, I valued my G.I. Joe’s. From the jet fighters, tanks, figurines and all the Cobra stuff; I valued my action figures”! 🙂 As I got older, I found value in coin collections, NASCAR collectables, and WWE title belts. Funny that I still have all of them! And still value watching NASCAR & WWE!

Yet what draws me to continue to value them? Well, like most habits, continuing to surround yourself with them will fill spaces you want to be left for God and other things. DVR’ing the shows each week, buy merchandise and eventually re-enacting what you see shows a value in your life that defines you. No matter the passion of the values, the more you invest in them, the more they become apart of you.

Take this same concept and think about the valuing you give your bad habits and addictions. Consider the irony of how the two relate and though you may admit the value of the good, but you will not admit the value of the bad. When sin is apparent in our lives and we are comfortable with its presence, then we show value to it by feeding its need for existence. If I was addicted to Internet porn, me keeping the internet because I “have other interests and things I do on it,” I am valuing the source to keep the sin alive instead of valuing the change needed in your life. If I was addicted to drugs and certain friends were my source to fulfill that need, keeping those friends are valuable to me instead of the sacrifice needed to change (getting rid of the friends).

What we value says a lot about what we hold dearest in our heart. So with all that we grasp to hold close; where does that leave Jesus in your life? Does His value outweigh all the rest or does other areas hold higher real estate than His!?

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In Luke 5:17-26, Jesus is described as sitting amongst the Pharisees and teachers of the law:

….They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.

Have you ever wanted to be near Jesus SO BAD that no obstacle could get in your way? Looking at the story in Luke 5, those men sought out Jesus from afar carrying a man who was paralyzed. Obviously someone they cared about and loved, just to lay this man before Jesus so that He might heal him. Have you carried someone you love that far to lay at Jesus’ feet for healing? Maybe not physically, but emotionally or spiritually in prayer? Each moment we allow to pass by without faithfully bringing those we love before Christ shows less value in them!

Think about it….when the men came to the place where Jesus was, the crowd was so large and packed that the men couldn’t get close to Jesus. Did that stop their quest? Absolutely not! The VALUE of His presence to those men was so great, they climbed the house He was in! Then what? The roof sat in the way between them, another obstacle perceived as too great to get through….yet they didn’t stop!

They risked lowering his body through the “tiles” of the roof to lay him before Jesus! Imagine the last time you were stopped by an obstacle and then went beyond that only to have to endure a more challenging and possibly more painful obstacle. Once he was in the presence of Jesus his faith was shown it’s destined value! Jesus recognized his faith immediately and proclaimed their sins were forgiven! Yet like Satan does so well, he tempted the Pharisees to question Jesus’ authority and in response, Jesus proclaimed the authority He has on earth. His authority healed the paralyzed man giving authority to his VALUE in Jesus Christ! Remember our authority!!

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Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)

When addictions and bad habits overtake your values; the presence of Christ can’t be as strong because there is a lack of faith overshadowing Christ’s values He desires for you! Therefore…..GO….Christ’s value, given by His Father to Him and then passed on to us, His Disciples. The value of Christ’s presence on our lives in beyond all comprehension. Regular time with Him, renouncing all negative things, will build the greatest value ever in our lives. Is He worth it to you? Is His value in your life great enough that NO obstacle can get in your way? When all other avenues seem lost….will you go beyond them and even break through a barrier of addiction or habit to reach Him?

If you don’t feel this way at the moment; what’s stopping you from having the supernatural peace that goes beyond all understanding? The lighter yoke, the way to the light, the truth over the lies, and the LIFE that this world can never give you beyond temporary.

His name is Jesus. He values you enough to die for you; do you value Him enough to live for Him?

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Get Well Soon

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It has been said that “Whomsoever the last day of his own life finds unprepared, this last day will find unprepared also. (Augustine)” It was also said later that, “Many who plan to seek God at the eleventh hour die at 10:30. (Author Unknown)” Death is coming to is all. Due to our nature, born into sin, our once perfectly made bodies now have an expiration date. This is our born punishment because of the choice that was made. “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19 NIV)

So why does me saying this mean anything to all of us? If you were paying attention to the picture above, you’d see how many feel about death. The obvious is apparent, yet we trick ourselves into believing we are gonna be okay. Why is that? Don’t we know that when we’re sick that we need medicine to get better? Or when we’re tired that we need sleep to recoup? Death will happen to us all; yet it’s the death of our souls that I am the most concerned about!

Have you ever thought about the number of non-believers who truly are on the road to mortal death and don’t have the relationship with Christ? What about the number of believers who are on the path to mortal death and don’t even realize that they are spiritually sick? Just attending worship half-hearted, sitting in a Bible study, volunteering on a mission project, or even listening to Christian music will NOT save your soul from death!

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A deepening relationship….ACTIVE in everyday, every breath kind of bond is the best preparation for eternal life! Each day we hear some sad news of another tragedy or loss of life around us; yet unless we know them personally, our emotions are hardly affected. Yet a real grieving occurs when it’s someone close to us personally and we’ve invested parts of our lives with them. Jesus invested His whole life into us….each and every one of us. Can you imagine how He must feel over and over again when He loses one of us simply because they ignored Him?

I’ve been a Christian for over 15 years now and there have been days where the life I feel inside is numb and borderline dead. Why is that? Well, for many of us “Christians” we get too comfortable in the lackluster, lukewarmness of our faith as it’s been and then before you know it….your really dead in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Then what? How do you change that feeling? How can you bring LIFE back to your spirit and it be lasting!?

We hear the normal read His word daily, pray earnestly & constantly, be in fellowship with others and attend His house weekly. Sounds easy and if you are doing that, you should feel alive right?? Yet, like myself, so many times the normalcy of our actions callus our feelings of spending time with Him! Meaning the rhetorical patterning numbs the senses….we don’t FEEL the passion, the encouragement, the hope as we should every breath! Church becomes a business or social club. Reading the Word becomes as “blah” as reading school books, and praying is just a practiced line of the same play! Jesus becomes a mindful associate, not a life-giving Father you long to be with!

Scripture doesn’t sway in its reality of what LOVING Christ is all about! “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NLT)

“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26 NLT)

I am writing this to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But as for you, Christ has poured out his Spirit on you. As long as his Spirit remains in you, you do not need anyone to teach you. For his Spirit teaches you about everything, and what he teaches is true, not false. Obey the Spirit’s teaching, then, and remain in union with Christ. (1 John 2:26, 27 GNT)

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action. (James 1:22-25 MSG)

‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:15, 16 NASB)

Wow…..are you not convicted yet? Can you admit to yourself that you might not feel as ALIVE as you think you are in Christ? Look at it this way….remember how you felt or even feel now of you’re blessed to, to see your favorite grandparent? Your best friend you haven’t seen in years? Your spouse after a long day at work?? MAGNIFY that a Ka-zillion times over, if that’s possible to comprehend, is how much Christ is happy to see you….to be with you every single moment!!

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If you’re feeling “dead” inside, don’t just take the hint of Get Well Soon….GET WELL NOW! Each day that passes is another day closer to our last day on earth and farther away from where we need to be with Jesus!! Deny the flesh and embrace the freshness of the spirit of our living God!! Amen!! 🙂