FREEDOM

God Gold of the Day

Hope everybody had an awesome Easter!!! Such an awesome day filled with the Good News that our Savior has RISEN!! HE IS ALIVE!!! And in His resurrection came victory and FREEDOM for us!!! Heard some awesome news from my uncle today that during his time ministering with some other guys sharing God’s truth with men in prison, in his words;

“Angels rejoiced over the jail this morning….an inmate wept and cried, then called upon the name of the Lord . He prayed and received Christ…..Glory!!!”

How awesome is that!!! I can’t imagine how many men and women heard the Good News of Jesus Christ today and how many of them accepted Jesus as their Savior! This man may still be an inmate in prison, locked up. But in this NEW LIFE he now has with Jesus, he is FREE!! Despite the prison bars that surround him, he can rest in peace knowing that the victory has been won and his home is now with Jesus for eternity! This day of Easter is a special holiday where we celebrate Christ rising from the grave and giving us freedom to walk in daily and forever! The good thing about this GOOD NEWS is we don’t get to be free just for today or celebrate what Christ has done today, we get to celebrate Jesus and the freedom and victory He has died and rose again to give us EVERY DAY!!!! As we begin our weeks, I pray we don’t forget this FREEDOM we have in Christ! Even though jobs, crazy busy schedules and work to do may seem like a burden, burdens that make us feel like we too are locked up in chains. But just continually remind yourself of the FREEDOM in these verses, the complete FREEDOM that you have in Christ Jesus!!! Nothing or nobody can hold you back, nothing of this world is too great for Jesus to handle!!! All the sins and worries of yesterday are washed away by the blood of Christ and like He rose from the grave, shall we continue to rise out of our beds daily to walk in and live life in this glorious FREEDOM we have with Jesus!!! Focus today on Jesus and what He has done instead of all the negative around you or the worries of today’s tasks. Focusing and believing on the FREEDOM you have will have you walking as a FREE child of God!!! Stay close to Him and take a look around at God’s reminders of who He is and how in control, how beautiful and loving He is by His creation which He makes known all across this earth and our lives!!! Enjoy the FREEDOM today, the next day, the next day, the next day………EVERY DAY!!!!! Thank God for sending His Son and setting us FREE!!!

Galatians 5:1/“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

2 Corinthians 3:17/Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

The Cross

God Gold of the Day

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to walk through “the way of the cross”, it’s a walk through of each scene of Jesus’ walk to the cross, death on the cross, and His resurrection. My church has been doing it for a few years now and this was my first experience, pictures were set up in stations, showing scenes from what happened at the cross. We had pamphlets with Scripture regarding each scene, a short write up as a reflection, and some blank lines to write what we reflected from it. It was a huge heart and eye opening experience for me as the Gospel, what Jesus did and what He went through became more real than I had ever felt it. The point of the “Way of the Cross,” was for it to be an intimate setting learning about the Gospel, deeply seeking the Lord through each station, and being able to reflect on it all more deeply and personally with the Lord. I wish I could walk each of you through it but I just want to share with you my experience and how it’s really opened my heart to who Jesus is, what He’s done for us and all He endured through it, all out of love for us. It’s amazing.

I am putting a video below from the movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” It’s the scenes of Jesus’ walk to the cross and His time on the cross. I know, it’s not easy on the eyes, there is a lot of goriness to it but it’s the best example I could find to give you as real of a view as possible of what Jesus went through. I’m also putting the scripture from Jesus’ walk to the cross and His time on the cross below. I just pray that you will be able to use these resources to spend some time, alone, sitting quietly before the Lord and have a time of deep personal reflection with Him. I pray this time of reflection moves you ever closer to our Savior who took it all for me and you so we could have LIFE. I pray it may change your life as it continues to change mine daily.

“Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face. Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.” The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.” When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha ). It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!” “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!” “What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back. Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha ). There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.” When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did. Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was Passover week). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe. ) These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and “They will look on the one they pierced.””

‭‭John‬ ‭19:1-37‬

Risen

God Gold of the Day

 

Gosh, I literally just watched this video again since I’ve never seen it sung live, wow. With Easter week here already just thought it would be a great reminder for us all to prepare our hearts and minds for what Easter is really about. As nice as the pretty dresses and all the bright-colored Easter outfits are, as cool as the Easter Bunny is and getting an Easter basket on Sunday morning filled with some super awesome and sweet treats. As great as that part of Easter is, it’s not the reason we celebrate it. The reason we celebrate it isn’t just limited to one day per year either, as much as I struggle myself to make it a daily reminder, it’s the only reason we have the beautiful life we have. It’s a daily remembrance of what Jesus has done for you and me, the glorious message of the Gospel, that Jesus died baring the weight of our sins on the cross, He took the punishment and died the death we deserved then on the third day, when everyone thought Jesus was a goner, HE ROSE!!!!! He rose from the grave with our victory in hand over fear, sin and death!!!! Jesus sacrificed His life so that we could not only have life but life to the fullest, walking in perfect relationship with God, the Creator and Provider of all things!!!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ didn’t stop at the cross and it doesn’t stop after this Easter week is over, Jesus rose, HE’S ALIVE!!!!!! Because HE’S ALIVE so are we daily as His LIFE dwells within us as believers! And if you’re reading this and you’re not a believer, you don’t know Jesus or this Gospel message of what He has done for you, get ready!!! The rest of the week I just want to take the beautiful story of Jesus, and the fact that HE’S ALIVE and dig in deeper and deeper into why this news of Jesus being our RISEN Savior is so awesome to us! I pray these messages along with this video to kick it off can really make you dig deeper and take some time to reflect on how awesome the fact that “He is RISEN” truly is! I pray that this becomes more than a story we hear or have heard a bunch of times but a truth that brings freedom and victory daily to our lives! I pray we find LIFE in the Gospel message! LIFE that is too daggum GOOD to limit to one day per year but a truth that gives us LIFE 365 days per year, every year for the rest of our lives!

 

Truth for You

God Gold of the Day

“16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

-John 3:16-17

Spent some time with a good friend today that I haven’t seen in awhile. This time spent with him was nothing but an awesome blessing. He’s a friend that spoke so much Gospel truth into my life, Gospel truth that I really needed to hear. He reminded me of some the truth that I so often forget, look past, and blind myself to see. It’s easy to walk through this life blinded to our sin, the enemy’s distractions and temptations and in a world that is so focused on “I” it’s easy to forget that it not about “I” but it’s all about God and the Good News of what He’s done for us by sending His Son Jesus Christ!

It’s the most important truth we could ever come to know and as much as being reminded of it helped me in my life today, I want to extend the same truth and blessing to you so you too can be reminded of the only truth that really matters in this life. God loves us, He loves us despite our past, despite our sin, despite our putting Him second place in our lives when compared to ourselves and our desires. He loves us so much despite all that, so much He sent His only Son to die in our place. Jesus Christ died for me and you when we are still sinners. He paid the cost for our sins and the first moment we believe in Him, our sins are washed away, our sins are wiped clean, gone forever. Just because your sin nature draws you into committing sins today and the enemy tells you all these lies and excuses to why you’re so bad, why your situation of bad circumstances or addictions is impossible. We hear so many lies, we tell ourselves so many lies but the TRUTH is that as a follower of Jesus Christ, your sins have been forgiven.

You may feel at times so far from God because of your weakness or emotions of defeat and fear. But have faith! God is always there, He is always there for you in every situation. God is so loving and so faithful to us, He is there to meet our every need, we just have to ask. Stay in constant communication with Him because as a follower of Christ you have been given eternal life, a new life into adoption as a CHILD OF GOD!!! No sin, no person or ant lie the enemy tells you can separate you from your Father! Jesus didn’t die and give us life to the fullest so we could feel defeated and live a life in the lowest. Jesus died for us to give us LIFE, eternally and now! Jesus did everything for us so we could walk triumph, walk in victory of what He has done! Because despite all the lies, the truth is that we may face some battles, we may even lose some, but at the end of the day you’re still a Child of God and you can rest in knowing the TRUTH that the ultimate war has been won! You aren’t a product of your emotions, your sin, the past mistakes you’ve made or your current circumstances, you are a product of the cross!!! Have faith in what Jesus has done for you, have faith in knowing that no matter what you’re a child of God and have faith in knowing that nothing can come at you and there’s nothing you can do or not do that makes the fact that Christ has saved you, brought you to LIFE in Him and has washed your sins away. The price has been paid, there’s no need to try and pay something that’s already been paid!!! The victory has been won, there’s no need to walk in defeat as a victim when God has called you VICTOR!

Message somebody today, call them, go hang out with them, send an encouraging word their way, speak the TRUTH that God has given us to them reminding them and blessing them with God’s awesome love and truth of the Gospel! My buddy was that person for me today and I want to be that person for you so you can be that person for someone else! The truth breathes life into people, breathes life into you, breathe it, speak it, and live it today Child of God!!!!

Power Source 2

God Gold of the Day

“20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 
21I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”
– Galatians 2:20-21

Hope everybody had a super cool Tuesday! Going right off of yesterday’s God Gold, this lesson of God being our ONLY source of power for us to live this life has been huge for me! Not because I’ve learned it and lived it because it’s been real daggum hard to humble myself enough to put me to the side long enough to receive this truth in the fullest. I pray this power source lesson sequel can be a big blessing to you and hey, if you’re in a power struggle between using what you got and stepping aside to live in what God has, I’m right there with ya! But it’s alright! God is teaching us, growing us and molding us to be better by doing less and trusting Him more!

It’s been a constant battle for me in this life following Christ, after years of playing sports and living in this world, my mindset is so wrapped around the “I just have to work harder to overcome, please God and be better. It’s on me and the work I put in.” It’s what we can so easily lean on since we’ve attacked life and our problems this way for so long and the world around us tells us these lies to attack life in this way. But it’s just not true at all. The past few days, I’ve realized more than ever that to come to God as the source of my power, I must first remember the Gospel. The truth about my desperate need for Him in all areas of life. Without need for God and His power in our lives, then we usually don’t ask for help right? Because we’ve got this under control, right??? NOOOO!!!!!

The Gospel speaks the life-giving and life-changing truth so clearly to us, the whole purpose for Jesus sacrificing Himself on the cross for us was the fact that we were so wrapped up in sin and death, there’s nothing we could do to change that no matter how hard we work. Jesus saved us and by faith, He gives us the opportunity to live as one with Him, living in His power, drawing our strength from Jesus Christ, the perfect and righteous Son of God!!! So what’s the point of trying so hard to be strong and courageous. to be better? With our faith and dependence set on Christ and Christ alone, He gives us everything we need to live strong and courageous lives!!!!

It’s this awesome view of the truth that in this relationship with Christ, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

You see that? Your old self, the one that used to have to work and “do enough” to gain acceptance and worth in this world. your old self is dead dude. Seriously, coming to faith in Christ means you have died to your former life and ways of living and now you live with Christ in you!!! Yeah you heard that right!!! The I mentality, “I can do this, I just need to work harder, do more.” Christ loved you so much that He died for you because it’s the only way for us to ever experience life in the fullest and have access to God and His awesome power. We can try all we want but the “I” will never be enough! That’s the Good News, you’re not enough but you don’t have to be because Christ was perfect, Christ made the sacrifice died the death so we could die to our old life of slavery of weakness. Then Christ rose from the grave so we can rise into new life with Him, full and real LIFE!!! The “I” is washed away and now you live by faith in Christ who is one with you! How awesome is that?!?!?

I read verse 21 here and couldn’t help but think of this scene from Christmas vacation. Clark Griswold spends all day putting up Christmas lights, hitting every spot of the house, working like a wild man to make his house as beautiful and awesome as possible for his family to enjoy. He does all this work, everything is just perfect, then he goes to plug in the lights and what?!?! No power!!!

Watching Him run around clueless and so upset that after all that work he did it still wasn’t enough reminded me of me, or us really. We do all this work, dedicate ourselves to be better, to make our lights shine brighter than anything the world has ever seen so others can see God’s light shining through us. But just like Clark, we so often do all this work with no result. Just lights with no power.

In verse 21, it states clearly how completely wrong this legalistic, “do enough” mentality, leaning on the power we have zero of. It’s a waste of time. it’s like saying all this God did for us to send His Son to die on the cross for us, to give us new life, new strength and a new source of power is meaningless. The more we run off our power and trust in what we got, we are saying that the Gospel wasn’t enough, what Jesus did wasn’t enough. We forget so easily that without Christ, we have no power, we can do nothing. We can set the lights up all day but we can’t make them shine. Even though we are undeserving God made a way to have access to Him when there way no other way. He gives us complete access to His power to lean on and trust in because He knows we are lacking. If we could obey God, please Him by what we can do then what’s the point of Christ doing what He did? Zero.

So we can see that there is nothing, I mean NOTHING that we can do, but that’s okay. The Good News is even though we are undeserving of what Christ has done for us, although we are undeserving of having access to God’s power, He has given His Son up so that we can put our helpless striving behind and go directly to the source of the power. God’s awesome grace allows us to experience life in ways we could never do alone, it’s His power!!!

When Clark was out there freaking out because he couldn’t get the house to light up, have you been there? Feels like no matter how hard you try you just can’t get your lights to shine? Well preach the Gospel to yourself, stop striving and working, go straight to the source of your power, which is God and God alone!!! Then grab the extension chords of your life, the struggles, the problems you can’t seem to get past and go to the source. Bringing life’s hard times together with God as the source of your power, SHAZZAM!!!! LITTT!!!!!!! Preach the Gospel to yourself and go to the source!!!! Let’s light the world up guys!!! He’s given us plenty to do it!!!!!