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God Gold of the Day

“20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” 
John 17:20-23
So I had some God Gold all planned out for y’all but then I went to hang with the youth group and Pastor Matt brought too much heat to not get out!
Wow it was such an awesome message but a couple things he mentioned really got some light bulbs going for me upstairs. In these verses, Jesus is praying. Not something I’ve ever really thought about before and something that seems so simple to blow my mind.
Think about it, Jesus, the perfect Son of God, is fully man and fully God is PRAYING! Does that not sound crazy?!?!? Jesus was practically God, was perfect and capable of anything, why would He need to pray? In this moment Jesus was modeling prayer for me and you. Jesus was giving us an example of what prayer looks like and an example of complete submission and humility before God. He was completely giving His life to God in this act of surrender. Think about it, if Jesus felt the need to pray, then how important and huge is our need for prayer? How important is it to spend that time alone with God in prayer, surrendering our lives to God and seeking His provision, power and will for our lives. I was hit hard that if Jesus took prayer that seriously, then I definitely 110% all the stinkin way need to treat the time of prayer with God, that one on one alone time with Him so much GREATER than I do.
Not only is Jesus praying here, He’s praying for ME and YOU!!! Jesus is praying not just for His surrounding disciples but for ALL future believers! How awesome is that?!!? Jesus cared for us, loved us so deeply that He prayed for us thousands of years before we were even a thought.
Jesus is modeling something else for us here about prayer and it’s His example of humility not to just spend this time with God for His needs, His wants and a prayer focused solely around Him but He’s praying for others. Jesus’ example here shows that prayer isn’t always just for you, we have the grand opportunity and chance to pray for others around us. What an example of love that is to pray for someone else.
The overarching message from Pastor Matt was about unity. Jesus prays for us to be united as ONE. Most importantly He prays for us to be ONE with others just as we are ONE with Christ in our personal identity as children of God. What’s funny about trying to be united with others, it doesn’t take a long drawn out plan of action, if we present ourselves before God as Jesus did, humbly and on our knees in prayer, seeking Him and His will for our lives, getting away from the craziness of this world around us and being alone with God. Having personal quiet time with God, through prayer, His Word and so many other ways. If we take our unity in Christ, our being ONE with Christ as the most IMPORTANT, #1 PRIORITY, and BIGGEST part of our days. The love we find in that time with Christ will flow into others lives around us. As Jesus says when we are working together as ONE with Him and united as ONE with other believers, the world will quickly see the light coming from Christ within us. And just imagine what being united in these ways will change not only in your life but in the world.
I’ve struggled with taking time to be alone, quiet and still before God through prayer or the reading of His Word a lot lately. I’ve watched these messages start sounding different, my own personal message and example to others look different, it’s just super easy to spot the lack of Christ in my life. As we looked over the Gospel more deeply in Colossians the last week or so, we’ve seen that apart from Christ we can do literally NOTHING! My excuses for letting this time with the Lord slip as of late has been “I’m too busy, I’ll do it later, I can do this, I’ll go to God later.” No excuse is good enough and as I watched my life resemble the little amount of time I spent with God, my relationships, the way I handle the busyness of it all and just every single area I struggled. Apart from Christ, I became consumed with me, my wants, my plans but after seeing the affect that had on me and the people around me,  I can’t go on like that living life. I need God’s presence in my life, I need time to seek Him, learn and grow in Him. I need more time spent doing life united with other believers, with YOU! I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t do this life alone, I’ll never make it, apart from Christ and apart from you I wouldn’t stand a chance.
This morning was the perfect example, caught up in me, me, me. Sending this message out with the attitude that it’s something that has to be done so I can get to other things I need to do. In the middle of my selfishness, the Lord stopped me dead in my tracks. I sent out all the text to you which is like over 100 messages sent out individually. Then I started receiving messages that my post had messed up somehow and all people could see was words that said, “PAGE NOT FOUND, ERROR.”
So in my rush to attend to my needs, I was humbled big time. Had to re-do the post and send them all out again. Just a big reminder from God there that apart from Him, not attacking this mission He’s given us with Him as the #1 priority and to get His Word out to others for their benefit. Life will read; ERROR, LIFE NOT FOUND. That’s why I challenge you today to text somebody, ask them how you can pray for them, send them an encouraging word, and carve out a “quiet time” to spend alone with God in prayer or seeking Him in His Word. I’ve learned the hard way that days are much better with that “quiet time.” I also seek your help and ask you pray for me, nothing in particular just pray that I take time daily to spend with God, alone and away from the stresses of the world. I could tell ya a lot more I need prayer for but learning that if God is #1 and I go to Him in that way daily, all the rest of that stuff in life falls into place!
Message somebody, reach out, pray for them, love on them or encourage them AND SPEND TIME ALONE WITH GOD!!! We can’t do this life alone, we desperately need the Lord and we also need each other too! I love you and I’m thankful for the huge role you play in my life! Praying for each of you today!
And BIG shoutout again to Pastor Matt for this awesome encouragement tonight! This message would never be without him. Thanks brotha!

“This is How I Fight My Battles”

God Gold of the Day

12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. 13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”

Colossians 1:12-14

Staying in Colossians again today, I know I’m surprised too that I haven’t got distracted and jumped around to other Scripture! Definitely seeing how awesome digging into one piece of Scripture and staying there can be because gosh!!! You can really dig so much of God’s gold out of it!

Stinkin blows my mind how these were the next verses in Colossians today because they seriously fit so well with the experiences I went through. I promise I’ll try not to bore you too much or ramble on but I’ve got to tell you how God was moving today and I pray in anyway at all that it be of some help to you for your day today!

I started off the day, did my class and went to work as usual. During my time from home to work I started having a lot of negative thoughts coming up. I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve been struggling some lately with all the stuff that’s going on in my life. I’m not complaining when I say this but daggum is it busy! With new a job, new possible opportunity to serve in a ministry setting, online classes, finding a new place to live and all the other adult things that come with getting married, oh and most importantly, I’M GETTING MARRIED TO THE MOST AWESOME AND BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!! Sorry bout that, just needed to let that out because that day can’t come soon enough!! I wanted to tell you that to say that there’s more on my plate at the moment that I’ve ever had and some days trying to juggle it all with a joyful attitude is extremely difficult. You know what I’m talking about? We’ve all had seasons of life filled with a lot of change, busyness and with that can come a whole lot of worry.

I caught myself worrying about one thing this morning and then before I knew it that one little thought of worry, led to thinking about a whole bunch of worry filled thoughts. My mind was completely wrapped up with so much negative, insecurities and doubt and to be honest, I had no idea how to fight that battle. I’ve struggled with my thoughts like that before but this morning it kind of all came to a head, a lot of stuff that had been building up just exploded. You would think since I send you these messages every day that I could of found some scripture, prayed over my worry and everything would be just fine but seriously I couldn’t get over it. I was completely clueless on what to do or how to defeat this giant standing in front of me of worry. I wanted to just give in and give up. You been there before? I’m sure most of us have because if I’ve learned anything in this world, it’s that this world can chew you up and spit you out if you don’t know how to fight the battle. Being followers of Christ, we can expect to face resistance from the enemy, the devil. In that moment I wanted to look at all this stuff going on as scary, impossible, and complain about having so much on my plate because I simply played into the lies Satan was feeding me.

Then things began taking a turn……

On the next episode of God Gold of the Day…. Just kidding I wouldn’t leave ya hanging on all that negative!

I wanted to honestly go home, hop in my bed and crawl in a ball but God had different plans. He carried me throughout the rest of my day until I got to church with the youth group I’ve been fortunate enough to start serving with. The time hanging out with the kids and having fun along with the lesson brought by Pastor Matt, that’s why God kept pushing me. The lesson was so spot on to what I had been struggling with, talking about Jesus’ last words to His disciples at the last supper. Jesus gave them some big time words to them so they would be words that are remembered in the tough days of persecution and possible death that were to come for them. Jesus gave them something to hold onto, something to give them hope and a reason to keep fighting no matter how bad things got.

The song played beforehand in the worship time, “This is how I fight my battles.” A song that I’ve heard a whole bunch but I’ve never stopped to ask, “wait, how do I fight my battles?” These lyrics say it all;

In the valley I know that You’re with me
Surely Your goodness and Your mercy follow me
My weapons are praise and thanksgiving
This is how I fight my battles”

Our weapon, our weapon are praise and thanksgiving to Jesus who has overcome it all for us!!! In the moments when things got tough today I had no idea how to fight that battle. A simple question in small group time along with all the other moments before where God was working in such an awesome and mighty way, “Why is it important to remember what God has done for you?”

It’s important to remember what God has done because this world and life along with Satan’s schemes against us will try everything possible to break us down and make us want to give up, feeling defeated. In those times it’s important to remember our weapon, the moments that God has broken through our struggles yesterday and delivered us, the moments God has completely carried us when we could go no more, carrying us into situations doing things for Him that we never imagine or do on our own power! It’s important to remember what God has done all the time but especially in your battles, praise Him for the the LIFE He’s given you, the places He’s taken you and all the blessings He’s so gracefully given us! Shout with thanksgiving pouring out of you heart at the life of abundance here and now, also in eternity with Him one day! Shout your praise for the God that has taken you out of the life you used to live, in my example, a life that was filled with low-living, addictions, sin and complete darkness and emptiness. He’s taken us out of the life we deserve and given us NEW LIFE with Him!!!! A life filled with His light guiding our every step and supplying us with more than enough to not just get through but triumph in His victory!!!! He gave up His Son, dying on the cross as a sacrifice for me and you, rising on the third day from death to life with our victory in hand just so we could live in the fullness and awesomeness that comes with having a relationship with Him as children of His!!!!

When the battle gets tough, remember what God has done and the victory that’s already been won!!!! Think and meditate deeply on the moments He’s delivered you, carried you and provided for you! Each moment where God made our impossible look soooo possible!!! Sing with thanksgiving and praise through your thoughts, and over your circumstances!!! That’s our weapon, to just remember that what God did yesterday, He’s more than capable to do the same thing today. Enjoy the peace that comes from knowing that, the confidence and joy that those memories of God give you, that’s how we keep moving forward and fighting back at whatever comes today!!! Looking back at God’s goodness and awesomeness yesterday in the sight of the eternal hope He’s given us for today and each day to come FOREVER!!!!

I didn’t know how to fight my battle, but thank God I do know!!!! Whatever battle you’re going through or may go through in the days to come, I know it may feel like God isn’t present and so far off at times but just know that’s another lie from the pits of hell. God is with you today just as He was with you yesterday! Play back what He has done and keep moving forward into the MORE God has for you!!!!

THIS IS HOW WE FIGHT OUR BATTLES!!!!! LET’S GET IT TODAY!!!!

PS- This pic today is from a memory God has given me to fight with!!! Getting engaged in Rwanda around some of the most beautiful people and the love of my life! That whole trip getting to serve with her was such an amazing picture of God doing what only He can do!!!! None of me, ALL OF HIM!!! Tell me God won’t do it!!!!!! And RWANDA WEEK coming soon! Get ready!

Be Still

God Gold of the Day

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”/ Psalm 46:10

I apologize for getting the Gold out so late today! Learned a big lesson in my tardiness on this. At times I struggle a lot with just stopping, stepping back from the busyness of life, the daily grind of striving, the hustle in wanting to move forward and be better as a person and really just be better for Christ. This world has a way of getting us so busy, moving super fast and honestly messed up in the need to be more and do more. I’ve even struggled typing these messages to you lately with the thought that I’ve got to do more, deliver these perfect life-changing messages to you but in the midst of that I found myself becoming and being someone who is not me. I was trying to be in control, be better, be perfect, but I’m not any of those things, I can’t be because I’m simply not capable of it.

What’s awesome is that we serve a God that says, STOP!!!! Step back from trying to be all these things and “be still.” That’s it, just be still. Stop your running around, and striving for a minute and “be still.” I took a step back this morning and took God’s simple advice. It was really hard for me to slow down and take time to be still with God because it’s not something I do often but in that time of being still, it changed everything. Just stopping, actually talking to God, reading His Word and deeply seeking Him, seeking to hear what He wanted me to learn about who He is. I was blown away at how often I have complicated this beautiful relationship with God that I have thinking I need to be all these things but all I really need to be is still. It’s in the stillness where our hearts become softened and opened up to God. The comfort and encouragement that comes in the stillness come from realizing that He is God, He is in full control of every situation of our lives and of this world even down to the smallest of things. He is God and He is with us at all times, good and bad, He hears our prayers and the yearnings of our heart. He is God and He loves us so stinkin much, He works things together for the good of those who trust in Him. He is God and He has us. It’s so wild and awesome that we have this opportunity to have a relationship with God, THE God, the Creator of everything around us.

I’ve wanted so badly to be better for God by making these messages as good as they can possibly be so that you can be encouraged and inspired in the biggest of ways. I’ve wanted to make these messages go farther and be heard by more because God has made such a difference in my life, it’s exciting to think of Him doing the same in others, maybe even people that don’t know Him. Whatever it is in your life, if you’re trying to be better for God, be what the world tells you should be, or you get caught up in the busyness and grind of everyday life, the lesson that God has given to us in all this being is to just “be still.” It’s not some hard or complicated truth, it’s simple just like God is, it’s crazy how digging into the moments of stillness before God and spending that deep and intimate time with Him, you learn that He is God and He is in control. Nothing you do more or less will change that, He will be exalted and spread throughout the world no matter what, the question is, can we be still enough to step back and allow God to be magnified and exalted in our lives? Be still and watch what God does!!!