Sangin’ Saturday:

God Gold of the Day

Ran across this song last week as I was preparing to teach about the “Prodigal Son.” If you haven’t had the chance to spend time studying that parable that Jesus speaks in Luke 15:11-32, stop whatever you are doing and READ IT NOW!!! Seriously, it’s holds such powerful truth for us in how we are so quick to go our own way or the world’s way, and believe that our past is all there is. But God in His awesome love and grace accepts us back home when we draw near to Him, no matter what we’ve done, how long we’ve been gone, or what we really deserve!!!

Out of the many awesome lyrics of this song, here’s a few that set my ears on fire when listening to it;

“Sometimes on this journey
I get lost in my mistakes
What looks to me like weakness
Is a canvas for your strength
And my story isn’t over
My story’s just begun
And failure won’t define me
‘Cause that’s what my Father does
Yeah, failure won’t define me
‘Cause that’s what my Father does” 

In the Father’s house, everything changes from the way we see it to be! Praise God and let this song move you today!!!!

Miner’s Approach

God Gold of the Day

Below I’ve placed an unusually large amount of Scripture for today’s meditation. Just hold onto your horses, there’s a reason. Over the past weekend I was blessed to be apart of a student weekend for my buddy Zach’s youth group. The weekend was called “Prodigal,” with the main focus being on this story/parable of the prodigal son that Jesus tells here in Luke 15.

I’m extremely thankful for having the chance to teach on the first character of the three mentioned, the son. It allowed me the chance to really dig into this story that I had heard a lot but never given much time to actually read. And I don’t just mean read the words and go about my day, I mean read like actually taking it apart word by word and studying it to squeeze out every bit of gold I could find. I’m excited about this because so often I just read God’s Word to check it off the list and say I got my time in but on this occasion, I had to study hard and what happened was AMAZING!!! I say all that to you today to challenge you and tell you to not make the mistake I make so often when it comes to taking in God’s Word. Don’t just read it, but actually READ it!!! Study the mess out of it and pray for God to show you what He desires for you to see!

Crazy to think of all the pieces of Scripture I look right over and how much pure, life-changing God Gold I’m missing out on because of my impatience and laziness. I want to encourage you in this today to no longer take these truths foregranted, to no longer read it just to get it done, or skip it because “you’ve already heard of that verse and it doesn’t interest you.” Whether you study this story today of the Prodigal Son or study something totally different, I challenge you with the same challenge for myself, DIG IN!!! STUDY IT then STUDY some more!!!

Think about it this way, when miners begin digging for Gold, they didn’t just take a few scoops of dirt out of the ground with their shovels and call it a day because they saw no gold. Miners kept digging, searching and doing everything in their power to find these precious and costly riches even if that meant going underground in caves, getting super dirty and working tirelessly. They kept digging because they had their heart set on finding Gold. When we open up God’s Word, we should take the miner’s same approach, digging and working tirelessly, no matter how long it takes to find that precious, life-giving, life-changing Gold that God has given to us!!!! If you don’t see God’s Gold at first, keep digging, then keep digging, and then keep digging even deeper! God will show His Gold to those who truly and whole-heartedly search for it!!!! He’s got riches waiting on you, don’t miss out on them!!!

‘And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'” ‘

Luke 15:11-32

The Christmas Sweater

God Gold of the Day

Today’s God Gold is a message from last year that I shared around this time of year and when I was looking back on the lesson learned here, it felt too good not to share again with you! Hope this Christmas Sweater story opens up your eyes to some life-changing truth today that strengthens your faith and moves you closer to God than ever before!!!

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:37‬

Wow, well there is a lot that could be said about this truth. Like seriously, just sit back and mediate on the fact that with God anything is possible, literally ANYTHING!!! I had some experiences yesterday that opened up this truth in the wildest of ways!

I had the option at work to wear a Christmas sweater instead of my regular uniform, of course I went with the sweater. I’ve never owned one before but at a yard sale last year I ran across the brightest, classiest, most awesome piece of swag that I’ve ever laid my eyes on. All year I’ve been waiting for the chance to put it on and share it’s awesomeness with the world. Today was that day! From the first moment of feeling the indescribable power of Christmas cheer that it brought to my life, I knew that it was going to be a good day. Walking into work, looking like I robbed an old ladies closet, it was crazy! I thought it was cool and all but no one could walk by it’s seasonal glow without being stopped dead in their tracks.

It turned out to be an unbelievable conversation piece with each person who encountered it. Compliments came in from all over the place, even outside of work, people stopping me in parking lots to pay their respect to the sweater. Even a lady in the gas station talked to me for 15 minutes about Christmas, her little girls love for this time of year and her soon to new little one arriving soon! I was stunned at the power this sweater held!

On a normal day, I just go about my day to get it over with, constant busyness and running wild to keep up with life. Living in a world with so much negative and darkness surrounding us and constantly living in the low expectations of my own failures that I couldn’t make a difference anyways. It becomes hard to stop and experience the numerous opportunities we have to bring a smile to someone’s face, to bring a little bit of bright green and red glittered light to people’s lives. There is always so much negative being talked about and negative in our own life it can leave you thinking, “why should I try? Why don’t I just focus on me and if I feel good then that’s good enough right? I don’t have any platform, the money, or popularity to make any kind of difference so why try?”

The moments in this Christmas sweater, seeing so many people smile just from a wild and bright display of Christmas on cotton. I thought why can’t everyday be a Christmas Sweater type of day? As much as I’d love to wear it everyday, I can’t but the good thing is I can clothe myself in God’s presence everyday no matter where I go He is always there. It’s not the sweater, it’s not our own shortcomings or low expectations, it’s not the wild stuff going on around us, living life under a God where nothing is impossible, why would we ever live in low expectations, believing that because we can’t seem to change our world then there’s no way we can change the world.

It doesn’t take a Christmas sweater, money, or anything we think we need to finally start moving forward in our own lives and watching God work through us to help others move forward one smile at a time. It just comes down to the question and constant reminder to yourself when you start hearing those low living lies come up, “if I’m with God and anything is possible with God then…” What are we waiting for? With a relationship with such a loving, powerful, and capable God we have more than enough to be difference makers. Don’t let yourself get so caught up in why you can’t, walking comfortably through life, never stopping to try will be the result. Focus on why He can!!! Stretch yourself, move from the mundane into the wow, continually seek to move into His very possible. Let the light in your own personal relationship with the Lord shine brightly like a Christmas sweaters into others lives.

I heard a pastor say we so often say to ourselves and others, “I would if I could.” Well God says “you could if you would.” Reverse your would-coulds and live in the powerful truth that God could do anything!!! Set your expectations on His truth and live in His higher standards today! You’ll never know what God is capable of if you don’t put your Christmas sweater on, know that He is with you and just try, if you fail keep trying because with God NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!

Yelling Out; “JESUS!!!!”

God Gold of the Day

Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar 

‘As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. ‘

Luke 18:35-43

I was sitting here thinking, “it’s Friday night, I have nothing to do, so I’m not doing anything.” I kept feeling like doing all these random things like scrolling through social media, watching something on tv, and just killing time. Then I got an urge to not waste this time but open up the Word and see what Jesus has for you. I’ll be honest, even though I send these messages out everyday, spending quiet, intentional time with Jesus in the Word is not something I do very often. It’s maybe a devotional in the morning, some class time in the Word and then finding some Scripture to find that next message for you but when I sit down and ask myself, “how much do you really seek after and pursue Jesus?” The answer isn’t even close to what it should be.

The problem I guess is seeing it as “work” I need to do or getting easily distracted by all these “fun” things I could be doing. That’s the beauty I’ve found tonight in sitting down, being still. and really pursuing Jesus through His Word. It’s not “work” or anything that I have to do. It’s really very different from that. It’s being still and getting out of the way and Jesus does the work! The only thing that we can do is be quiet and listen to what He has for us.

I sat down and opened up this passage from Luke and saw something pretty awesome from this blind beggar. This man heard Jesus was coming through town and instead of continuing to beg and sit there as a hopeless blind man, this man began “crying out.” This man heard that Jesus was near and just started yelling for Jesus, trying everything possible to get close to Jesus. Then the people in front of him told him to cut it out, they rebuked him and told him to be quiet. Even in the face of this opposition, the man continued to cry out again and again for Jesus.

This convicted me a good bit, how this man was in the state he was in and facing the opposition he was facing with the people rebuking him and telling him to shut it, he still continued seeking out Jesus with all he had. I asked myself, “do you cry out for Jesus?How much do you really cry out and pursue Jesus with all you have?” These questions are convicting especially if your answer is not that much. Let’s look at what happens next. Jesus stops, commands this man be brought to Him and when the man came near to Him, Jesus asked, “what do you want me to do for you?” Is it that crazy to believe that when we put aside the distractions and fight through the opposition we face from so many “not bad” but “fun” things and actually call on Jesus, that Jesus will be there, and draw us near to Him? No that’s not crazy, that’s Jesus!!! Is it crazy that when being near to Jesus in that time of seeking Him that He would ask us, “what can I do for you?” Nope, still not crazy, just Jesus!!! That’s the faithfulness and love of Jesus to show us that even though He seems like He’d be super busy and way too high up to ever be near us, Jesus is there for us, draws us near to Him and wants to know how He can help us in that very moment!

So to answer the question, the blind beggar asks to have his sight restored, and Jesus restores his sight on the spot. Then Jesus says something that always throws me through a loop but is so powerful. “Your faith has made you well.” We can easily look at this and say I need to have faith like this man but it wasn’t this man that did anything. It was actually this man realizing his great need for a Savior, his great need for Jesus because of his broken and weak state as a blind beggar, so in his lowest place, he just seeks after the only One who can bring his sight back to him. He calls out on the only name that has the power to do anything good in our lives. This man’s faith is founded on believing that Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only answer. As faith is in the unseen or not yet, this man believes that Jesus is who He says He is and looks to Jesus being the One and only One that can bring him help. So this man calls out, seeking after and in desperate need of Jesus. Jesus said his faith made him well because he sought after Jesus in belief that Jesus could bring peace to his circumstances and Jesus showed that this man’s belief wasn’t in the wrong place but actually the only right place.

I want to encourage you in this and ask you pray for me as I’ll be praying for you also, that we push through the opposition in our life, no matter what it is, even it’s that “not so bad lazy fun” that we can get distracted by. Then call out to Jesus, come before Him and be still, surrendering to our need for Him and watch what Jesus can do in your lives. It’s not what we do or how we do it that matters, it’s just coming to Jesus and He does all the doing. Be still, intentional and listen to Jesus today, you won’t be disappointed, instead you’ll actually have your sight restored!!!

 

Golden Relationships: “Surrender”

God Gold of the Day

Building golden relationships or living on mission for Christ doesn’t happen without Christ and without you. It’s that simple. Jesus has called us to make disciples and after we saw yesterday that task is literally impossible unless Jesus is the lead of our lives. To be a disciple maker, there is a truth to that, how can one make disciples if they aren’t first a disciple of Jesus? It’s once again impossible. Building Golden relationships and living on mission for Christ starts right there, at His feet, with Jesus at the lead. To attack this great commission Jesus has called us to we can’t overlook that it is His strength, His power, His love and His everything that we need to walk out this mission daily.

Today, I challenge you to think about first, before we continue to dig into these lessons on building golden relationships, what does it mean, what does it look like to follow Christ?

Jesus makes it clear that whoever follows Him must first deny self, leave behind all of the selfish wants and pleasures, let go of this world completely, leave behind the selfish wants of title, promotion or recognition, and come to Him just as He created you. Lay your life down before Jesus in surrender, pick up your cross and sacrifice self, and follow Jesus. Look to Jesus. Depend on Jesus. Seek out Jesus. Learn more about Jesus. FOLLOW JESUS.

Nowhere does God’s Word say, follow after Jesus AND self. There’s one million reasons why it doesn’t and as much as I’d love to write a book to you and try to explain what those reasons would be to surrender self and follow Jesus. I just challenge you to surrender yourself before Jesus, give your life to Him, there’s no certain way or formula to do that, just call on Him and give up self. And you’ll see exactly why Jesus has called us to bear our own cross and follow after Him!!!! There is no words for it, just see for yourself!!!!

‘Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. ‘

-Luke 14:27