Armored Up

God Gold of the day

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:10-11

 

Spirit Gold

God Gold of the day

‘For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. ‘
Ephesians 3:14-21
Came across these verses the other day when I was in serious need of some encouragement to lift me up. I’ve read these before but this time I kept noticing how Paul mentions ” he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being”; according to the power at work within us.” I kept seeing Paul mention the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that is alive and living in our “inner being.” The Holy Spirit of God that He has given us access to Him on Heavenly levels and power to do far more abundantly than all that we ask through the Spirit that is living inside of us. As weak, and bad as our human flesh can be at times I guess I have completely overlooked the power that God has set inside of me through His Holy Spirit. I constantly want to feel like I’m not enough, I don’t have what it takes, or I’ll never get through this but God has granted us a gift that overcomes all of our failure and inadequacy. He has given us the Holy Spirit living within us to comfort us, to give us the power to live and do things for His kingdom that we could’ve never done on our own. It just gave me so much peace and confidence hearing the truth of this Word, the truth of the power we have residing within us that we daily overlook. You may feel drained, your yesterday’s may tell you that you’re not enough but none of that matters. You serve a God who conquers all of your failures and all of the darkness in the world. You serve a God greater than all, such a mighty, powerful and perfect God! Don’t leave the power within you untapped! Embrace the power God has set before you and LIVE fearlessly and faithfully!!!!

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!!!

 

God Gold of the Day

‘But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. ‘ -Ephesians 2:4-6

One day away from marrying the love of my life. It’s honestly the weirdest feeling I’ve ever felt, excitement, fear, joy, and nerves wrapped up all in one. This week I’ve had the chance to think a lot about love. Thinking about what “love” is, what it means and how it feels. While thinking about love it led me straight to grace. I sit here and feel so unworthy of all of the blessings God has placed in my life with the main one being my soon-to-be wife Sarah! How could I have such a beautiful, awesome, and perfectly fitted to my weirdness type of lady by my side not just for today, but for the rest of my life?!?!? What an amazing, walking, breathing example of grace she is in my life. I keep coming back to just feeling thankful. I’ve spent more time thanking God this week than I have in a long time, and with a lot of that going towards Sarah, the more I’ve thought about God’s love and His amazing grace, the thankfulness spread to every area of my life. My friends who get to experience this day with me, the people who have reached out to me this week to give me a boost of encouragement, the awesome family God has placed around me that goes above and beyond to serve me and provide for me. And of course my new family I know have on Sarah’s side who has done everything and then some to make this day possible. The list goes on and on, but I’m just thankful! Thankful for a lot!

Thinking about love this week like I said led me to grace and these verses capture the reality of God’s example of this in our lives. While we were still sinners, completely dead in our sin, without a chance of life, God loved us. God loved us so much that despite all of the bad in our lives, all of the stuff that makes us feel disqualified and counted out of God ever loving us. His love still breaks through and His love made a way for us to be raised up from our slavery to death to ALIVE in Christ Jesus!!! Think about it…..we don’t in anyway deserve it but God loves us, so much that He gave us LIFE in the midst of our deadness and raised us up to new life not only here and now but He gave us an inheritance of eternity with Him FOREVER!!

With life getting super weird and super real for me this week I was able to reflect on a lot. Looking over my life and spending time looking at all God has done, then to take it to the realest level and see how deep His love is and how awesome His grace is, that when I was nothing. No Sarah, no God Gold, nothing good, He still loved me and was right there with me and in those moments He raised me up! He breathed new life in me!! An eternal, abundant, grace-filled life with Christ!!! How? Why? WHAT?? It doesn’t make sense but that’s just how great His love is for me and you! We can never comprehend the deepness of His love, but we have it! I spend a lot of time trying to make sense of things, thinking way too much but at the end of the day I have all that I need and then some! God saved me, by His grace I have been set free and raised up to new life with Christ and what’s awesome is when you look deeper at the root of all that we have to be thankful for which is God and this life-giving/life-saving relationship we have with Him, it leads you to look around in your life and just say, “WOW.” Look at all you’ve blessed me with God!

I encourage you today to just sit back and reflect. Reflect on all that God has given you starting at the foundation of His love! Look around and see all God has done in your life! It’s pretty daggum awesome right?!!? Whatever season of life you’re in, struggle, or circumstance, this time of reflection into God’s truth and seeing God’s truth in your life of all the good you have, it will lead you to be thankful and it will completely change your perspective that you may be seeing your life in. Thank God for these messages and how His Word grows us deeper into His love! Thank God for Jesus, coming down to save us even when we didn’t deserve it! Thank God for you and every person in our lives! Thank God!!!!

Mouse Attack

God Gold of the Day

I’ll tell you in advance this God Gold is going to be a little different than most you’ve received before. I had an experience at work today with a mouse that has brought a great and kind of funny example to share God’s Word with you.

So I work at a feed and seed store in the warehouse area and it’s always been said that our biggest enemy there is mice. Somehow and someway they always seem to find a way into the warehouse, through the walls, from outside, it’s crazy what mice will do to get some of that feed. Many times before I’ve seen mice running around and getting into the bags of feed. What stinks for the feed store, the mice are busting holes in bags, eating the feed and losing us money we could be making. Throughout the warehouse you can find traps set up and different types of rat poisons there to stop there destruction.

To be completely honest with you, I’m not a big fan of mice. Mostly, just the bigger ones which are known as “rats.” NO SIR! When I hear word of one being around or see one, I don’t want anything to with it. Well, today I found myself in a hairy situation, no pun intended. We pulled out a pallet of feed that had been ordered months ago for a gentleman and he was just now coming to pick it up. Since it had been in the back so long, the feed had some intruders find their way in it. They pulled the pallet up to the front and you could see all the mice running wild in the plastic wrap. I took a few steps back and didn’t know what to make of it. “Should I run? Hide?” I didn’t want any part of dealing with these little rodents but apparently they wanted to deal with me. I was standing to the side when one of the mice broke loose from inside the plastic wrapped pallet. Out of all the directions it could go, of course he’s high tailing it directly at me! This was a moment that lived in my worst nightmares. And I want to add that snakes, spiders, the dark, no fear of all that but these nasty little things! NO SIR!

In that moment I didn’t have time to think it through or run away. I had no choice but to face my fear that was heading straight for me. As the little fella got withing a couple feet of me, my instincts took over and my reaction resulted in cocking my leg back and punting that mouse! Sending him flying across the warehouse! It was like I was back in third grade playing kickball, the pitcher gave me a good roll and I kicked with all I had. The guys in the warehouse were killing themselves with laughter and to let you animal lovers know, the mouse may have a pretty bad concussion but after he fell he got up running and lives to tell the tale of the giant that kicked him.

I thought about that moment for the rest of the day, we find ourselves in situations every day where we face fears, obstacles and temptations come running right in our direction, and in the moment, we can either sink or swim, or in this case kick him in the teeth or run. I honestly don’t know why kicking is the option I chose but I’m glad I did because running wouldn’t have looked very great for a big guy like myself. Every day we face temptations from the devil, he sends things and thoughts our way that is just like that mouse sprinting at us and we have a similar decision to make except I noticed something in that moment. I didn’t have time to think, or even make a decision, I only had time to react out of my instincts. And thankfully I reacted to defend myself from this scary little monster.

Think about the moments of temptation you face everyday, a co-worker or someone else says something hurtful to you, do you react with love or anger towards them? When the devil entices you with lust, or the comparison trap, do you react with walking into that temptation and sinning, or do you resist him and walk in a way that pleases God? Even in moments when someone asks you a tough question about your faith, or says something that opens up the door to tell them about Christ. In so many different moments in our daily lives we face that quick, no time for thinking but only time for our instincts to come out. Every day we have a mouse running straight at us and in that moment we can choose to run, hide, and wish you were far far away from this fear or face him, stand strong and boldly, and kick that temptation right in the teeth. What’s cool is that reacted to these quick moments isn’t literally kicking someone in the teeth but by Jesus’ example we learn to treat those who harm us with love, stick up for our faith in love and kindly explain why we believe what we believe. When the devil comes at us with all of this good looking temptation to sin against God, kick the devil in the teeth and walk away standing strong in the Lord.

So these situations we face happen quickly throughout our day, in the face of fears in the land of uncomfortable, we don’t have time to think or make a decision so how can we make sure our instincts are like that of how Jesus’ would of reacted? Don’t do what I’ve done many times before and walk into those situations blindly, be prepared for them. Train yourself in righteousness daily, it’s like a ball player going into a big game. He doesn’t just step on the field expecting to win because he hasn’t practiced or put in the necessary time to be ready for that moment. The ball player hits a homerun and makes the game winning shot because he’s spent hours and hours of hard work preparing himself for that moment. Don’t wait until the mouse of life comes running at you or the devil throws temptations and tough moments at you and just expect to always stand strong and kick his temptation in the teeth. He’s crafty, and always scheming new ways to attack you, so be ready for him. Get in God’s Word daily, stay prayed up constantly, learn to know God even deeper which leads to a greater understanding of how we are supposed to react in these moments and how to react in ways that please Him. Here are some verses to prepare you for your “mouse” to show you that the devil is real and if you’re a child of God, he’s coming after you. But put on the armor of God and be ready at all times to defend yourself, to trust God in those moments and shield off the plans of the evil one. That mouse could have crawled up my leg today but thank God I kicked him in the teeth. Let’s not let the devil and his schemes to hurt us crawl into our lives but lets take the power that God has given us through the Holy Spirit and the full access we have to Him through His Word and prayer, and KICK HIM IN THE TEETH!!!!!

He’s coming: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”/1 Peter 5:8-9

How we fight: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”/ Ephesians 6:12 

How we prepare to defend ourselves and kick him in the teeth: Armor of God 

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”/Ephesians 6:10-18