Living Under the SON

God Gold of the day

“What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?”

Ecclesiastes 1:3

Heard this today and it was like a light bulb went off for so hope it can do the same for you! Under the sun its meaning, on the earth, worldly vision and labor. Not saying we’re not supposed to work or anything like that but what do we really gain when our primary focus and heart is in the work we do on earth, or the desires and things we chase and work so hard for? We may gain money, awards, success, or a few compliments but in reality none of these things will ever last. What if instead of laboring under the sun, we labor under the SON. By SON I mean the Son of God, Jesus Christ. What do we gain then? May not be all the things that seem real nice and shiny to us at the moment but living a life dedicated and focused on Jesus, we gain His presence in our lives. The only things that really matters. We have Jesus living with us now and forever in eternity. I thought about what would change in the way I live now if I change my focus and purpose more from here on earth to heavenly things, to Jesus. Everything changes. What we gain living under the Son, is peace in times of struggle, joy in times of sadness, the list goes on and on mainly because those things are the only ones that last. Jesus is the only One that lasts. Ask yourself daily, am I living and putting my focus under the sun or under the SON?

It’s Not What You Thought

God Gold of the day

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28-29‬ ‭

So I’ve got some REALLY REALLY SUPER AWESOME HUGE truths to share with you today! Wipe off the sleepy eyes and grab your cup of coffee, Gods got some Gold for you today that is going to knock your socks down off!!! That’s a promise on the sock knocking because I mine are nowhere to be seen!

Okay so two really big ideas here, this may get kind of wild so just hold on tight! This ride down in the gold mine will be well worth it! I’ve always heard verse 28 there, that says; “for those who love God all things work together for good.” It’s easy to quickly scan over that and come away with the idea that God works everything for our good. God works to make us happy all of the time, to make us a blessed people, to give us a good life in all areas. I’ve taken that away before but hold on!!! That’s why skimming over Gods Word can get us in trouble and gathering ideas that just sound good to us and make us feel good. Looking at the context of this verse along with the verse that truths that follow it, there is so much more here than what we see at a glance.

God works everything together for good, “for those who are called according to his purpose.” What is Gods purpose for us? Well, mentioned throughout Scripture God’s purpose for us is to save us but that’s not all. Finding salvation in Jesus is where the Christian life starts but that’s not all there is to it, that’s just the beginning. God’s purpose after salvation is for us to undergo the lifelong process of sanctification, to be broken down, molded by His hands and formed more and more into the image of His Son, Christ. Look at verse 29 that says; “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Conformed to the image of His Son, to be more and more like Jesus as each day passes! That’s God’s purpose for us, to be made more and more into the image of Jesus.

You see on the surface, you could easily glance at these verses and think that 1) God works everything for my good, happiness, blessings, and all that jazz, and 2) God makes us more into the image of Jesus so we will live perfect, sinless lives just as Jesus lived. Both those ideas sound really nice but it’s not at all what God intends to tell us in these verses. Let’s start with the fact that God is forming is more and more into the image of Jesus. In this process of being conformed and transformed into the image of Christ, that process involves a lot or painful change, a lot of burning away of parts of us that have no place in this purpose and life we’ve been given with Christ. Think about it this way, Jesus is a super muscled up and ripped up dude with not an ounce of fat on him. We on the other hand are majorly overweight, flabby belly’s, just super unhealthy in appearance. To be transformed into being more in the image of Christ, what has to happen? It’s not just walking in the gym once or twice and BOOM! There it is! We look like Christ! Just like anyone who has went through the process of losing weight and gaining muscle, it takes sweat, pain, soreness, day after day going to the gym and putting in the work. Most of all it takes a whole lot of time! It’s not an overnight thing that just happens, it’s a process!

As we see that God works everything together for good, for the purpose He’s called us to which is to be conformed to image of His Son, Jesus. That process isn’t just getting saved and things just kind of work together. That process takes a lot of pain, a lot or sweating away of the old flabby fat we have carried with us all of our lives, whether that fat is sin, addictions, fleshly pleasures, whatever it is, there is things that have to be burned away for God to form us and mold us more into the image of Christ. That’s the first thing I noticed that when God is working everything for good, that doesn’t just mean that God is immensely blessing us and giving us nice fat and happy lives to live. God is allowing us to go through mess, failures, seasons that are extremely difficult because it’s in those times that the pain we feel is parts of us that we have held onto for so long being broken off as we are conformed more into the image of Christ. I have faced and still face a lot of things in my life that are tough, scary, and super painful and in my perspective of what “good” is, it’s hard to understand this truth. But that’s the problem, our worldly perspective of “good” is what makes us feel good, happy and comfortable. The truth is God’s meaning of good is so much bigger and better than we could ever understand but it’s a different path than we’d ever expect. It’s the path of pain, hurt, and tough situations where God is breaking us down, teaching us and working things together for good as our old flabby fat is being burned away and we are being formed more into the muscled up image of Christ.

And I got to thinking about it too, what does becoming more like Jesus look like? We see that Jesus was loving, kind, graceful, a servant, faithful, humble, and the list goes on. We see all these characteristics of Jesus and that’s what we strive for, to be more like Christ right? Well, what blew my mind when thinking about this is that it’s not just possessing those characteristics of Jesus that shows us that we’ve made it, we are more and more like Him. Look at the context in which Jesus displayed all of His awesome characteristics, in suffering. Jesus loved, served, and was joyful in the midst of extreme persecution, everywhere He went He was constantly being attacked by religious leaders, the devil, and so much more. Jesus displayed those characteristics in the context of suffering, which is exactly what God is showing us here. Following Christ and trusting that God is working everything for good as we are molded into the image of His Son, it’s the complete opposite of what we would think. God uses this same context that Jesus went through, the tough situations and seasons of pain and suffering to teach us and grow us more into the image of Christ. It’s in those moments in our journeys of following Christ that God is conforming and transforming us into the image of Christ the most! When we realize the context in which Jesus was who Jesus was, so forgiving, loving, joyful and kind, we see that God is calling us to see that the context we’re in, no matter what the situation or how tough it is. Although in our human perspective it looks absolutely horrible, God is working things together for GOOD!! God is changing us from the inside out and teaching us how to become more like Christ’s not just to be perfect or never mess up, God uses the nasty failures and tough times in our lives to mold us more into the image of Christ.

Seeing that Jesus was who He was in the context of struggles and suffering brings a whole new perspective to the things I face in my life today. No longer should we see what seems tough and painful in our lives as a bad thing because that means that God is doing an even bigger work for good, God is teaching us and growing us even more into the image of Jesus. What seems bad is actually what God is using for good. To think that Jesus acted and lived like He lived, loving, serving and being so graceful and humble while He was surrounded by attacks and turmoil, that’s what showed the world that Jesus was different and set apart from what we see as “normal.” God is doing an amazing work for good in your life right now even though that may seem impossible, trust Him, as we become more and more like Jesus as God burns away the fat in our lives, He is molding us to stand out as well, so the world will see people loving in situations where usually no love would be found. Forgiving and filled with grace in moments where that is the last thing that usually happens. Joyful in times of trial and suffering. That’s becoming more like Christ, that’s when people take notice that there is something much bigger going on in us than the status quo, that’s when others will see Jesus shine so brightly through you.

Living Outside Your Comfy Bubble

God Gold of the Day

“So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “ I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘ I am has sent me to you.’ ”

Exodus 3:10-14


This chapter Moses and the burning bush has been sitting on me a lot after teaching it Sunday to the kids. This little section where God calls Moses out of being a shepherd in the wilderness for the rest of his life, telling him that he will be a leader for the Israelites to bring them out of slavery in Egypt has so much to take away but my biggest takeaway is how similar Moses responses are to what I’d prob say and do say everyday when God makes it so clear to do something or go a certain direction. Moses’ feels like he’s not the man for the job, he doesn’t have the skills or meet the criteria to be a leader for a job this big, and so often don’t we do the same even if it’s with much much smaller things? It’s easy to make excuses that we’re not good enough or we don’t know what to do cause that’s the truth, we’re not good enough and we’ll never have a clue but there’s one big piece I know I miss a lot. God is with us! It’s okay to be afraid and not feel qualified cause most of the time we’re not but with God by our side, fighting with us and for us we don’t have to be afraid and we don’t have any skills cause He gives us more than enough to conquer whatever He’s put in our path. This was big for me last week, going into some situations where I knew what God wanted me to do and I let my fear and insecurities take control, which led to excuses which ultimately led to me staying in my comfortable little bubble staying away from what God called me to and what he’s capable of. I don’t know how often you do this but when we let ourselves get in the way, we limit the awesome things God has in store for us. God gives us opportunities to step out our comfort bubble so we have to lean on Him and knowing God is with us, that’s where boldness and confidence like we’ve never imagined comes from. Living with God in the lead, keeping ourselves out of the way, opens up an endless space to grow and be strengthened by walking into the uncomfortable. It allows us to see just how limitless God is and how we’re not really living when we start making our bubble so comfy it limits his space to work through us. Moses could’ve stayed in the desert with his sheep living a boring life but God called him to more and without God he would’ve have never led the Israelites out of Egypt but with God the rest of his life was completely and amazingly changed. I don’t know about you but a boring life in the desert sounds pretty crappy. God has called us for more and we’ll never experience the fullness of life that He has for us until we go with God wherever He decides to take us. Don’t be afraid and feel like you’re not enough because with God you have confidence and boldness to live a life where there’s nowhere you can’t go and nothing you can’t do, why? Because God is with you!!!

Sharing Your Experience

God Gold of the day

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:1-4‬ ‭

I had heard a pastor do a short devotion on these verses a few months back and his words never left me. It was a truth in this Word from God that I had never dug deep enough to see and the cool part about it, it’s simple!!!! Yesterday I had this lesson and these verses come to life as God opened up some doors to serve Him! Really excited to share this gold with you today and I pray these lessons, and my experience can encourage you and open you up to the truth of what this life is all about!

John is speaking here to start off the Book of 1 John and he’s laying a foundation for what’s to come. This foundation isn’t just for the Book of 1 John, it’s a foundational truth for me and you also. John is speaking of the moments he’s spent with Jesus, “we have heard,” “looked at,” “our hands have touched.” He’s talking about his experience with Jesus and referring to Him as the Word of life. You see John speaks of his personal experience with Jesus but doesn’t stop there, he goes on to say when this life appeared, that comes from Jesus and is Jesus, “we have seen it and testify to it.” John doesn’t just keep his personal experience with Jesus to himself, he has been close to Jesus and experienced Jesus, even to the point of touching him, now he is testifying of all he has seen and experienced. John is proclaiming the “eternal life,” which is Jesus. Why???

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”

I wanted to make a point to underline everything starting with the “so”… you can see why John was proclaiming and testifying to the name of Jesus. We can see here why it’s so HUGE that we share our experiences and times spent with Jesus. So that others too may have fellowship with us as followers of Christ but more importantly have fellowship with God Himself! Then John speaks about how writing this is only to make our joy complete.

The main lesson here is that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you have experiences with Jesus, you have a story and testimony to testify and proclaim. That is what this life is all about, sharing Jesus with others through our experiences we’ve had with Him. We don’t have all these life changing moments with Jesus so that we can sit quietly on our hands and keep them to ourselves. God has given us such a blessing and privilege by giving us His Son, it’s a relationship that’s meant to be shared, and as Jesus has said several times in His Word. Sharing Him with the world is all we are here for, it’s our only mission and as John says, “we write this to make our joy complete.” There is no greater joy than sharing Jesus and the life he’s given you with others. No greater joy! It fills us to a point we’ve never imagined to see others get to hear about the life-giving and life-changing Son of God, and to also see others come to fellowship with Him. What can be better than that???? NOTHING!!!

That’s what this life is all about and that’s where we find more joy than anywhere else we could ever look.

As I mentioned, God opened up some doors yesterday that made this so real in my life. I had the chance to talk to somebody around me that I’ve mentioned “faith” type things here and there before but nothing major. He just walks up to me and starts sharing about when he was saved and all these different things he’s got to be apart of in His walk with Christ. Now to give you context, I didn’t know this person was saved, most of the conversations we had went a totally different direction than talking about Jesus so I just felt the need to share my experiences with Him, to just share Jesus in anyway I could. My conviction feeling the need to do that is because it was a dude that is in a similar place I used to be, surrounded by bad influences and at a crucial place in his life to make some really bad decisions. I made a lot of those bad decisions and fell to the influences I was surrounded by, so I’m just thankful to have my experience with Christ to draw from, even from the lessons learned in my life without Christ in the “wild years.”

This guy started talking about Jesus and all these different things so I was stunned, I didn’t know what to say but it was obvious God just opened a door so wide to tell this guy about my experiences with Jesus and being some encouraging truth into his life.

I’ll be honest, I was overwhelmed, fearful, and doubtful. This opportunity seemed so big and I felt so incapable of saying the right things. I don’t know about you but the truth is, after spending so many years being conformed to this world, always hearing and living in the lies that “it’s not cool to talk about Jesus.” To go along with that being someone who is scared of confrontation and a people pleaser at heart, I have a fear of man. I have a fear that I may offend someone or say something that doesn’t make them happy with me. There is a stigma in today’s world where I know myself and probably a lot of you, have a lump come up in your throat when it comes to sharing Jesus with others. It’s not an easy thing to do but yesterday I had some of this fear come up so as I paused the conversation I walked away praying under my breath. I had nowhere else I could turn to but to God. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity that could change this persons life but I also felt so incapable. I took my fears and doubt to God and all I could hear was, “just be you.”

Usually, in those Jesus sharing moments I turn into someone else and try to say all the right things so that person isn’t mad at me and I have a better chance of converting him. How stupid is that? First off, I can’t convert anyone, only Jesus can and secondly, it doesn’t matter if that person reacts harshly towards me. At least he has been faced with the truth of the Good News. Their eternity and chance at life with Jesus is BIGGER than my reputation. So God was saying, “just be you.” But I also learned it’s not on me to do this, it’s all through God and the power of His Holy Spirit working within me. “Just be you,” was basically telling me not be anyone but who God made me to be, be my natural self and share the experiences that I’ve had with Jesus. It’s simple and it’s honestly super easy. Think about it, if we are willing to share on social media all these different things about ourselves or share with others “what we had for dinner the night before.” If we can share things that are so small like that then why shouldn’t we even more fine and confident in sharing the greatest experience we’ve ever had, with Jesus!!!! That convicted me when thinking about it yesterday, how easily I’ll share some random fact about my life that happened to someone but then when it comes to sharing the greatest part about my life, I close off and shut up.

As I continued to pray for words and for God to continue open up bridges in the conversation to walk back to talking about Him, God continued to faithfully open up doors!!!! And every time I caught myself trying to say the right things, God reminded me, be you, share what you’ve experienced. It became easy, my heart was calm and my confidence was high, the weight I always felt when sharing Jesus was lifted by that one big truth that sharing our experiences with others is so much easier than trying to say all the right things or thinking we need to know more. Instead of trying to over spiritualize it, just share how you have experienced, felt, and been with Jesus in your life. Dude!!! That’s not hard at all!!!!

At the end of the day, this is what we’re here for, this is why we’ve went through the experiences we have with Jesus, to proclaim and testify about how good He is!!! I was so scared of others and now seeing how important and life changing it can be to speak of what Jesus has done in my life to other’s lives, others feelings towards me don’t matter any more. At the end of the day we need to care more about their heart and relationship with Jesus more than how they feel towards us. Through a lot of prayer yesterday I had the chance to share bits and pieces of my testimony with a guy in a similar spot. It was obvious how God spoke because I can’t even remember half of what I said. I just remember looking at this guys face and he was shell shocked after getting hit by some very real and convicting truth. Thank God for teaching us how to get out of the way and allowing us to be guided and empowered by His Spirit to attack this mission He’s given us! I ask you pray for this young guy and continue praying for opportunity’s to share of your experiences with Jesus.

There really is no greater joy, after working a 10 hour day and feeling so exhausted, I was so full! I was almost skipping I was so happy and energized. There is nothing more important, nothing greater, and nothing better than sharing what Jesus has done in your lives with others!!!!

Forward Grace

God Gold of the Day

‘For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ‘

Ephesians 2:8-10 

I wanted to share this message of “grace” today with you because after my experiences the past few weeks, grace has been what I’ve seen so clearly from God. Not too many days ago I got married to the most beautiful girl, a girl who is fits me and my weird qualities like a glove. I could go on for days about all of the grace shown by God in that but I’m going to share with you a different side of His grace today.

I always feel weird about sharing stories like this because in no way do I want you to think any more of me or think that I have done anything special. Before I say anything else, this message is about God and His awesome grace, all that He has done in my life is all Him and none of me. Throughout the wedding weekend, there was many moments with close friends and family where speeches were given, stories were told and love was present. From speeches on the night of the rehearsal dinner, to just moments receiving encouragement from my closest friends before the wedding, and so many more.

As I’m going into this weekend looking at my life and seeing so much that I still struggle with, it was in these moments God opened my eyes to see all He had done. A little over two years ago, I was traveling down a bad road filled with alcohol, bars, and parties as my main focus and enjoyment in life. It controlled me and I thought that all of these wild and drunken moments was as good as life would get. Then, through a lot of random and divine events, Jesus was there. Jesus came into my life at the age of 22 and has continued to change the way I live, think, and act ever since. When I thought I had found life on the mountain top with what the world offered, I didn’t know how wrong I was until I met Jesus. Life with Him was truly LIVING!!! In no way did I deserve this sudden life change for the better or to even know Jesus but by His grace, He saved me!!

Life changed a lot from my old days, I received the call to ministry and was off!!! It’s crazy how Jesus took me from one life to the other and what’s even crazier is how when this life with Him started, I took off and have been running for Him ever since. The words heard from close friends over this weekend highlighted this life change that Jesus had brought to my life. But what hit me even more, while I was still so focused on the things I still struggled with, was hearing how Jesus had used my life and brought His love to these guys forever impacting their lives. Hearing story after story from my closest friends on how these messages, and all that Christ has done in my life has impacted them and so many others in their lives for the better.

I was and still am amazed at what God has done in my life and the lives He’s touched along the way. I know all of this was not by my doing or anything I’ve done, it’s all Him and His wonderful grace! Standing on this mountain top moment, I was just so jaw dropped and thankful seeing how God has worked things out. But like I’ve experienced many times before, those mountain top moments can easily cause us to get proud, cocky, and complacent in our lives. Seeing this grace from God was different though, I didn’t feel as complacent or cocky but seeing His grace in a whole new way. After seeing all that God has done, I just couldn’t wait to see what more He was going to do. What lives He would touch and the chance to continue learning more about Him. Hearing these guys highlight these God Gold messages a few times, all of their words just brought me to seeing why I do what I do. It’s God’s grace that isn’t just forgiving but it’s transforming, it brings us to strive to be better, strive for more of Him and doing the great works He has designed us to do. Stop for a second and look back, at all your failures and see how God has continually brought you through it. How God has continually grown you into the image of Christ and less like your old self! See all the lives God has touched through you and once you see all that God has done, live under the truth that all He’s done with you isn’t all He’s going to do. It’s only the beginning of a long story!!!

When you see God’s grace don’t just let it make you complacent or in a “still” thankfulness! Let His grace move you, strive to become better, pursue God first and always as hard as you can, and live in the fact that God has saved you not just for one day when you get to Heaven. God has created you for good works here and now, God has saved you to bring His love and grace to others! It’s by nothing you do that you can be saved, it’s by God’s amazing grace that you are saved RIGHT NOW, not after you read your Bible or get rid of all the sin in your life. God has saved you so you are saved, now live in His grace and let it continue to push you forward for His glory!! Don’t be comfortable on the mountain top, get excited about the next one and the next one and the continual mountain top moments God is going to bring to your life!!!! He has given us everything, when there was nothing we could give him that would be good enough, so strive to know Him, to please Him and let your life be a symbol of His grace for all to see!!!