Working as One

God Gold of the Day

“5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard workFor we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.”

1 Corinthians 3:5-9

I’m coming to you today with some big news for the God Gold. I have struggled all week trying to figure out how best to send you the God Gold while I am away on my honeymoon and through that God has opened up some really awesome doors. I’ve known for awhile now that sending out these messages everyday to what is now over 100 people by text, (PRAISE GOD!), and so many others through the blog and facebook page. I’ve known with marriage on the horizon that it would be extremely difficult to put in the same amount of work and time in sending you these messages. It’s tough. I know that I am coming into a season of life that I need and want to be my very best for my wife Sarah, to serve her and give her the most of my time. And what’s hard is realizing I can’t keep doing things the way I’ve always done them.

The hardest part about this is simply CHANGE. Change is scary and filled with doubt in any situation and this one is no different. My biggest fear is that you won’t be able to get these daily devotion messages for encouragement and Gold from God’s Word everyday. When I started sending these messages out it was simply because God’s Word and His presence in my life completely changed my life. I was just so excited to share all that God has to offer with others because if He could impact my life in this way, it’s cool to think of what He can do in other’s lives too. So I kept hitting send, with no purpose in mind but to share the awesome things I was learning with the hope that Gold from God in my life could be God Gold in your life.

The hardest battle with this change has been my pride and my stubbornness to want to do things the way I’ve always done them. I kept battling the idea that if I wasn’t sending out personal text messages and typing the God Gold myself then I feared for you getting fed the way you deserved. But then throughout this week, God opened up a huge answer to all my fear! After talking to one of my best friends Dillon who has been one of the most faithful brothers I could have ever asked for. I was discussing all this with him and asking if he would mind sending out the God Gold next week while I’m away? At first I was going to pre-plan all the messages but after talking to him, and seeing my PRIDE getting in the way. I realized that “who is Jordan?” I’m no different from my buddy Dillon, we are both believers in the Good News of Jesus Christ and we both work for the Lord. Then it hit me so hard reading these verses that, these messages, this work for the Lord is not about me. No matter who is planting the seed, no matter who is watering, it is ALWAYS God that makes the seed grow! As much as I want to plant, water, and make that seed grow in your lives, I’ve realized that it’s not up to me and it’s not about me.

So in that conversation with Dillon, it was decided that himself and his awesome wife, Olivia will be writing and sending out the God Gold next week! Two of the most faithful people I have ever met and I can’t wait for you to hear the Gold God has to write through them!!! Such a huge revelation for my life and the God Gold was realizing that myself, Dillon, Olivia, and so many others, we are all workers working towards the same purpose! And what’s even better is after facing the facts that I couldn’t do this all on my own anymore, my pride was standing in the way of asking for help and giving up control but now I see the awesome stuff God was working together! To bring faithful friends He has placed by my side to help me in this work and to continue opening up the God Gold to you, the community of believers that have such a great impact on my life! This isn’t about me, it’s about you and thank God for getting me out of the way to not just serve you in a different way but to serve you in a better way! With many more hearts and minds working on this mission of bringing you the God Gold of the Day! The more workers, it seems like everything is multiplied! Now I can rest easy knowing God has made a way for me to still send you these messages of encouragement daily, I can focus more time and energy in loving and serving Sarah in the way God has called me to! And instead of this God Gold thing just being me, IT’S EVERYONE’S!!!

This is a God Gold that has changed my life and I can’t wait to see how God uses it to change yours! You are in for such a special treat receiving messages from Dillon and Olivia!!! More changes are to come and praying God will continue to open up the Gold to more and more so we can all hear new perspectives, what God has done in other’s lives and new hearts dedicated to serving Him!

Planting, watering, harvesting, it’s all in God’s awesome hands and I’m just thankful to be apart of it! Stay tuned for details on the new changes over the upcoming weeks! I love you and God loves you even more!!!!

Go the Extra Mile

God Gold of the Day

“If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.”

Matthew 5:41

Just found this earlier as a draft I had saved awhile back. It’s a principle that I know I struggle with but one that I also know I need to strive to be better at. GOING THE EXTRA MILE. Sounds easy enough but sometimes just doing the required minimum seems like enough. I’ve always been one to have a few lazy bones and if I had it my way I would do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. The thing that hurts about that is the consequences of doing just enough to get by, even if it’s practiced in one area of life it can and will lead into other areas and eventually all of your life.

In the context of this verse, Jesus is teaching these lessons for the people in front of him during that time to live by but also for me and you today. Why is going the extra mile important? Well, here’s the scenario, you’re living during these times way back when Jesus was in His earthly ministry. It was common for Roman soldiers to make people carry his coat or gear for a mile. No questions asked, the Romans were in charge and in power during this time, and a soldier says to do this. Who is going to question a soldier? And also, the soldier doesn’t say please, he “demands” you to do it. So you have no choice in the matter. You have to carry his gear for a mile.

But Jesus says something here that songs kind of crazy right?!? Go TWO miles?!? But the soldier only said you have to go one and you don’t even feel like doing that mile, why would you go twice as far??? Jesus taught many lessons during His time, lessons to live by and He also left us an example to learn from and model our lives after. In world terms, a lot of stuff Jesus taught sounded absurd, crazy, weird, and even radical. That’s the cool thing about Jesus, He may have been in the world, but He wasn’t of the world. As followers of Jesus we live as ONE with the Son of God, we are identified as Children of God, heirs to an inheritance of eternity. We may be in the world but as followers of Christ, we are called to not be of the world. What the world holds as standards are different for us children of God. We have been called to live life at the standard of Heaven. A much higher standard. Jesus’ teachings may sound crazy but think about the implications it holds for the one who lives out his or her calling, in the world but not of it, living to God’s standards? Instead of the usual, “ughhh, I guess so.” Then carrying the soldiers stuff for awhile and meeting the minimum, meeting the soldiers expectations. Instead, you follow Jesus’ way of living, go TWO MILES!!! Imagine what is going through the soldiers head, “wow! Who is this guy? Where is He from and why in the world did he go the extra mile? What’s he made of?”

All those questions others may ask when seeing you go the extra mile, all have answers leading back to the source of your action. God. Others will see you going the extra mile, exceeding what’s “normal” and they will think you’re different, because you’re in this world but you’re not of it. It’s been said that actions speak louder than words but just think of what going the extra mile can bring to your life and others. Not only does that build a discipline that carries over to living in Godly and high standards in every area of your life, in this case, your Christ-like actions make your words speak even louder!! When people see you loving them after they yelled at you or did you wrong, helping the person that is pushing a buggy down the street when you’ve worked all day, you’re tired and you don’t feel like it. When people see you do these things, they don’t see you, they see Jesus in you!!! Such a simple lesson here from Jesus and it applies not only to carrying one’s gear but EVERY STINKIN AREA of our lives! They way you do everything you do, go the extra mile!!! You never know who will see Jesus through those resilient actions! And to think of what changes not only in your life or the person’s gear you’re carrying, other believers see you, they are encouraged to go the extra mile too! You’ve got people everywhere going the extra mile and exceeding the minimum and world around you asking, “who? what? why? and where?” All these questions with one simple answer, the answer to all of our deepest problems, the only One who’s ever went the extra mile for each person on the planet, JESUS CHRIST!!!

Don’t stop at good enough today, keep stepping and working, go the extra mile in every opportunity presented, you’ll be thankful you did and so will the world around you! If one simple action can bring Jesus to a lost and dying world!!! Let’s get to work and GO THAT EXTRA MILE!!!

Champion Faith

God Gold of the Day

Saw this quote today from Tony Bennett, the University of Virginia’s head basketball coach. Last night if you didn’t already know, his team won the biggest prize in college basketball, the National Championship! It’s always cool to see people like Tony express their relationship with Christ and speak of their faith on a bigger platform but to think, this guy just won the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!! He’s accomplished the biggest goal he possibly can in his coaching career, BUT even when he’s got it all. He’s reached the top of the mountain, what more could he have or want that’s bigger than that??!?

In last night’s post-game press conference Coach Bennett shared a statement that shows that NOTHING in this world, no level of success, no accomplishment, amount of money or possessions amount to the greatest to a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!!!! This is the quote from Coach Bennett! Praise God for his faithfulness on such a large, widely viewed platform! Makes you think a lot about the platform God has given you! It doesn’t take it being big and famous for your faith to be heard and impact others lives for Christ! If this man can share his faith on this big of a platform, ask yourself how you are using the platform God has given you, even if its smaller, any platform God has given you is big. Ask yourself, “how am I using what God has given me to share His awesome truth and gift of LIFE with others?”

And I may have used the restroom beside Coach Bennett during my time working at the Hyatt Hotel as a bellman. Just saying…. It was the most surprising potty time I’ve ever had! Sorry couldn’t let the opportunity pass by! Enjoy this and have a super awesome day!

“I have great things in my life — my love for my wife, my love for my family, my love for coaching, my love for basketball,” he said in 2014. “Those are wonderful things, but when you line them up in comparison to Christ and the relationship you have with Him, with what He’s done for you and with what He’s given you, they don’t compare. That’s the greatest truth I know.”

Jesus is Worth the Stones

God Gold of the Day

19 Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead. 20 But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.”

-Acts 14:19-20

I’ve been hooked on these verses in Acts after hearing them preached this past Sunday. We see in the book of Acts already in chapter 1, verse 8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Verse 8 shows us Jesus giving the gift of the Holy Spirit to all those that believe in Him. Jesus shows us that we have been given this awesome power dwelling within us and the reason why we would need this power from God. To witness, spread the name of Christ across the world and continue in the ministry Jesus had began on earth. We have the power, we have the purpose, what’s next?

When you keep reading into Acts you see so many awesome examples from these early Christians going city to city preaching the Good News of Christ to all those around them. You also see that people are completely amazed at this Good News, but some didn’t take so kindly to hearing this Gospel message that challenged their beliefs. Chapter 14 of Acts we see Paul and Barnabas on a missionary journey to spread the Good News to each city they went in. They preached all over the city and what’s pretty crazy is they know there is opposition awaiting them by doing this so when they would go into a city, “The same thing happened in Iconium. Paul and Barnabas went to the Jewish synagogue and preached with such power that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers (Acts 14:1).” These two men straight to the Jewish synagogue first to preach the Gospel of Christ. They could have went anywhere else in the city but they chose to go to the place where they would face the most opposition from Jews who believed another story from God. Why would they walk right in to the jaws of rejection and the pit of persecution??? 

That’s what I asked when I read this because I did what most of us do these days, look at the bad, the negative possibilities, the place out of my comfort zone closer to harm. I looked at that because it’s scary. But what gave these men the courage to walk right into the place where they were in the most danger and least wanted? They believed the truth about what Christ had done for them, they believed the truth that they have been given the power of the Holy Spirit within them to speak boldly and confidently about Christ even in the face of opposition. They also kept the PURPOSE Christ had given them to be a witness for His name to as many as possible. Their hearts and vision were aligned with God’s will, I’m sure they saw the possible opposition and danger but what they saw that was even bigger was a group of people who were in need of hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ. They knew that those people had the chance to have their lives changed completely and given LIFE for the first time by coming to faith in Christ so the GLORY of the MISSION and PURPOSE Jesus had set them on was bigger than their fear, bigger than any danger, rejection or opposition they could ever face, bigger than any physical harm they may endure. Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and the chance to see others come to know Jesus personally, for them to have the gift of eternity and experiencing the powerful and life-changing love of Christ was BIGGER than anything and everything!!

What an awesome example these guys set for us as believers. In these verses, their example was brought out even BIGGER for us. A crowd of some Jews that had already caused some trouble for Barnabas and Paul had heard of their preaching in this town, they schemed against the two men and got the crowds on their side. Then they stoned Paul. Dragged Paul out of the town. To the disciples Paul looked dead.

It’s cool to look at their example, see the positive influence Christ was having through them in people’s lives but how hard do you think it was for these men, during the awful, painful harm they faced, how could they remember the good in such a bad moment? Honestly, sitting in a seat personally and a culture around us that screams “comfortable Christianity.” How could we read that and say, “yeah, I would do the same thing if I was in that situation.” But the truth is we’re not, being in the Bible belt of the South, or anywhere really, we can’t talk much about being rejected or persecuted from sharing the Good News because we are facing opposition telling us to stay in our comfort zone. Lies such as, “you can be comfortable and be a Christian.” If we aren’t going out of our comfort zone, how will we ever truly see lives changed? How can we ever experience Christ in the fullest of ways, living a life that says, “the mission that Christ has given me to share Him with the world, it’s worth whatever I have to go through to accomplish it.” I heard someone say this the other day and it may hurt to hear but it’s the truth of where our churchy culture has gone, “we’d rather send money to missionaries and local ministries to do all the dirty work while we sit comfortably on our church pews.”

It’s convicted me greatly to realize how comfortable I am, how lazy and not really caring about living out the purpose God has given me through the power of the Holy Spirit to do it. As a follower of Jesus Christ, it isn’t the preacher’s job, the missionaries job or any other ministry calling, we’ve ALL been called to the same mission, to do the work of Christ sharing the love of Christ to all those who are around us, to do the work that gets nasty, dirty, filled with a lot of rejection, opposition and sometimes even blood in some cases. We have to ask ourselves honestly without giving and “oh yeah of course it is” response like I myself have done so many times. Is Christ worth it? Is sharing the GREATEST news about what the GREATEST name has done and watching people have the GREATEST relationship with such a loving Savior, IS IT NOT WORTH IT? IS IT NOT WORTH ANYTHING or IS IT WORTH ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!!!!!!

You know what the right answer is but take an honest look at how you daily pursue Christ and daily pursue the mission to take Christ to others? We can be blinded by our comfort sometimes that we overlook the truth about who Christ has called us to be!

In these verses, the examples set by Paul and Barnabas come to a head. The struggle for them is realer than ever, they’ve went through it all. Rejection, persecution, opposition and physical harm. Paul literally gets beat to the pulp by stones. Think for a second how badly that hurt?!? But then at the lowest point where we would almost gurantee from our human comfort-seeking perspective. Paul is dead, or he is really hurt and should just stay down, and if he ever gets up from this beating then they need to run as far away as they possibly can, but…….

he got up and went back into the town”

WHAT?!?!? NOOO WAY?!?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?! How could one man go through all that, almost dying then get up and walk back into the same town with the same people that just tried to kill him for his faith?!?! In the midst of any struggle we face in life, there will be moments when we get beat down to the point of what feels like death, but the big thing to takeaway from this is, WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FACE THE OPPOSITION THAT YOU’VE ALREADY BEEN TOLD IS COMING? I look back at so many times in my life and because of a few times of getting beat down, I fear failing so I stay away from it, stay comfortable. But this fight we’re in, this AWESOME mission Christ has given us, the power of the Holy Spirit that He has given us, that changes everything that happened yesterday and gives us the power, the purpose, and strength to attack the most harmful places first, go to the Synagogue, go right to the root of the problem! Then when it looks like all has failed because you are getting hit worse than ever, getting talked harshly about by people around you because of your faith, when things of this world makes you look dead, YOU DON’T HAVE TO FEEL DEAD AND MORE IMPORTANTLY YOU DON’T HAVE TO ACT DEAD!!!! Why? Because YOU are alive in Christ!!! Forever and always!!! He’s given us everything we need, He’s given us a mission, directions to go and what to say when we get there, He’s given us Himself. What are we waiting on?

Is Gospel of Jesus Christ that saved your life worth enough to you that you will go out of your way, suffer and endure through opposition, to share with someone else, to give them the message that Christ died for them to hear? When you get beat down, you wnat to give up, remember that lives are at stake, remember that you’ve got the Spirit of God inside of you, remember that Christ IS WORTH IT, in fact, He’s more than worth it. So walk into town today, do what you’ve been called to do, if they try to kick you out and beat you down, by the powerful name of Jesus Christ in the obedience to this Kingdom mission, STAND! WALK BACK INTO TOWN!

Power Given. Purpose Driven.

God Gold of the Day

“8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

Was going to keep going in Colossians like I promised but I’ve been learning some awesome Gold at church lately that I’m so excited to share! I’ll go ahead and warn you, as much as I’d love to plan out and script these messages for you. God doesn’t work on my time and His timing and intervention is always 100x better than anything I could ever create! Hope these next few messages from Acts brings some big time BOLDNESS to your lives and moves you from comfortable Christian to a follower of Christ who is on the move, living for the Gospel and the spread of it!

This verse from Acts is kind of like a foundation verse for the whole book of Acts! Beyond all the stories of men doing amazing things for God, how they show us examples of living this life with Christ and for Christ. Acts 1:8 shows us HOW these men do what they do and WHY they do what they do.

First we’ll look at the HOW?

The Holy Spirit. I could just leave it there but I’ll explain, so during this time Jesus had just died, raised from the grave and these disciples were sitting around looking at each other clueless as what to do next. Christ comes on the scene and speaks a life changing, power giving Promise to them. Yes, Jesus, who has died and been resurrected shows up to speak to these guys in person. Sounds crazy but it’s just Jesus! It shows how capable and loving He is to come back and give these guys some direction and a promise to hold onto while they sat in their cluelessness.

HOW do these believers do what they do throughout this book of Acts? Sharing the Good News of the Gospel, preaching and telling people about Christ, performing amazing miracles? The HOW is in the first part of this verse, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;.”

When one receives Christ into their lives, just as these disciples had, Jesus has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit living within us. The same Holy Spirit that worked through Christ during His earthly Ministry allowing Him to speak truth, love without limits and face a lot of persecution and turmoil surrounding Him. That same Holy Spirit lives within every born again believer!!!! The inflow of the Holy Spirit, the power of God at work within us, that inflow causes the outflow of our lives to change in a lot of big ways. Having the power of the Holy Spirit living within me is something I’ve overlooked throughout my life with Christ and overlooking the power we have, it makes it really hard to live FOR Christ.

The Holy Spirit enables us to do more than we could ever possibly do on our own. And we see in the second part of the verses after seeing the HOW in living this life not only with Christ but FOR Christ, we see the WHY?

Why would we need this power? Because without it, with out the power of God flowing within us, we are incapable of doing anything. In the second part of these verses we see the WHY, “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The inflow of the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives allows us to accomplish greater than we could ever do alone. With the inflow of Jesus’ power, comes the outflow of Jesus’s purpose in our lives.

Jesus says the HOW in the first half of verse 8, and in the second part He gives the WHY! He gives the disciples and us direction here on what to do, what the mission is, what the primary purpose is for this gift of power from the Holy Spirit. To WITNESS!!!

Jesus didn’t stop working after the resurrection, He gives us the power of the Holy Spirit so through us He can continue to do what He did in His Ministry here on earth, telling others of the Good News! The power of the Holy Spirit gives us help in so many areas, reading and understanding God’s Word, living more like Christ on the daily, the wisdom and discernment in that guides and controls our thoughts and actions. But in all those smaller things, which are all necessary to grow in, all that leads to the bigger overall specific purpose that Jesus has given us. To WITNESS.

To share Him and the Good News that He died, bled, and rose from the grave to give us! In the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus entrusts to live in this power for the lives around us. It’s the fact that Jesus has given us everything we need to do anything possible and the one, big thing He tells us to do, the grand, huge, ultimate life mission that He’s given us, be honest, how much do we really use this power for the purpose in which Jesus gave it??? I’ll be honest. Outside of these messages, I struggle in Witness. I may have a conversation about faith here and there but sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good News that changed my life completely around in the most awesome of ways. I’ll be honest and tell you that I fail to witness 9 times out of 10 but seeing this truth, seeing HOW Jesus has given us this great gift of power from God Himself through the Holy Spirit and the mission to be BOLD in witness for Him, it makes me question everything that I say I stand for when I am really just laying down looking up at the awesome opportunity Jesus has set before me.

It’s convicting for sure but I don’t want it to just hit you in your or my gut and feel bad for a minute then go back to living this comfortable Christian life like we have been doing. I pray that God speaks His truth so powerfully through these next few messages on examples of living a life with Christ that changes lives for Christ, that we don’t just feel bad but we move. We move from conviction to application, from life to LIVING and showing, telling, and yelling to others the Good News that’s changed our lives and how Jesus’ love can do the same for theirs! Let’s take this in and get prepared to move in the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus has given us so we can live out the purpose that Jesus has left us with!!!