God Gold of the Day
The Conversion of Saul
“But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.”
Thanks to a coworker’s recommendation, started reading Paul’s story from the beginning. All I’ve ever heard about Paul is how he’s one of the greatest Christian warriors ever to walk the earth, but I never paid attention to where he came from, his beginning. Paul was the baddest of the bad. He literally searched out Christians to have them murdered. We see it all the time of how God uses imperfect people to do his work and Paul is the most imperfect I’ve seen in His Word. It made me really think to when I was running as far from God as I could get, doing things that weren’t anywhere close to right. At times I thought there is no way I can come back from this; I’m too far separated from God. Funny thing is that God was right there the whole time. He let me hit a breaking point and I crumbled into His open arms. What’s so cool about that is my story is all of our stories and so many stories that hasn’t been lived out yet. With the Lord being the church and us being the hands and feet, instead of keeping our testimonies to ourselves we can spread the life we’ve been gifted into all of the lifeless people around us. My brother said something to me earlier, “what’s worse than being lost? Being lost with no one looking for you.” Even though our beginning isn’t as bad as Paul’s, everyone has their own beginning. No matter how much we think our story doesn’t matter or how far gone we think someone else is, think back to your beginning and think about the difference after you were gifted life, wouldn’t you say that’s enough of a reason to share it?
God Gold of the day
“For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.“
Once Paul was given this new life filled with the Holy Spirit, he didn’t sit around all hunky dory just happy to be there, he took the power and the truth he was given and gave back by starting his ministry. What’s even more impressive about him jumping straight to action is he knew there would be opposition because the people he was speaking to were the same people he used to work with, slandering and murdering over the name of Jesus, but that didn’t stop him. With Paul being a good steward of his new life, he wasn’t left high and dry to be spit on and ridiculed, but he was blessed by the Lord with strength to withstand it. We are put in situations all the time when we know there will be resistance and opposition whether we are spreading the Gospel to people who don’t believe or taking on strongholds of sin. I’ll be honest there is a lot of times where I’ve been weak and hid so I didn’t have to face the opposition and what’s encouraging to me is when Paul was facing even bigger opposition with people who probably wanted to kill him after switching sides, he stayed faithful, kept preaching, and was rewarded with the strength to keep on going, proclaiming the name of Christ even more.
My big challenges to myself and to you from this is not to wait around to spread the name of Jesus cause it will never be an easy task to be done with no resistance and in living a Christlike life through words and action, when the opposition comes, no matter how bad it is, we need to meet it at the door instead of hiding in a closet because if we stay faithful, right beside that opposition is going to be the Lord blessing us with the strength to stand firm and blow past the opposition. I know I read this and thought “yeah of course Paul would do that after being given this gift of new life.” Then I asked myself, “if that seems so obvious then why don’t my actions show how thankful I am for this gift I’ve been given?”
God Gold of the day
“But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; “
It amazes me that Paul and so many other people in the Bible who are so inadequate and sinful are chosen to be tools in the hands of God. Even Ananias was asked to do something that seemed ridiculous and even after questioning, he became obedient and helped give a new life and vision to a man that ended up doing so much for the name of Jesus. It’s so awesome that God does some His biggest works in the situations that seem so messed up or bad. He even mentions how much Paul will suffer for His name and if you look at the times Paul was suffering and going through the worst times, those are the moments that God’s glory is shown the most. Another thing that’s crazy is that Paul hardly questions it, once the presence of the Lord is upon him, he is nothing but obedient and if Ananias wasn’t obedient then we wouldn’t be reading this story. The faith and obedience shown in the most confusing and worst of times turned out to be such a huge Kingdom impact. It’s against our human instincts to want to suffer and be obedient but if suffering and obedience is what it takes to allow God’s glory and power to be seen at a higher level then why would we not say “bring it on.” I pray that God breaks us, gives us tough and uncomfortable situations that we have to fight to be obedient in so we may have scales fall off our eyes with new vision or that maybe our obedience leads to someone else getting new vision because through the breaking and tearing apart of our flesh, He is molding and shaping us for something much bigger, a life of Kingdom impact here on earth and a life in eternity with Him. You never know how many Paul’s are around you so it’s up to us if we are going to be an Ananias. If we are living for Christ we are going to suffer, it’s up to us how we handle it, we can shy away and let it beat us or we can have faith that God is working it according to His will and be encouragers to each other along the way.
God Gold of the Day
Today’s God Gold is a message that hit me in the past couple of years and a gold that was sent out way before a blog, FaceBook page, or anything else was even thought about! I had a friend tell me recently to not feel like I need to always bring you new and fresh messages of God Gold because God’s Gold doesn’t change! It’s been so cool to realize how God’s Gold that He brings into our lives never gets old, it never loses that power that transforms our lives, God’s Gold and the messages He writes in our lives is always a fresh and new perspective with the same life-giving power!!! So, as much as I’ve wanted to bring you only something fresh and new, this lesson has opened up a truth that all of God’s Gold is good and that never changes. So today is labeled “Throwback Thursday,” because it came from some time ago but I pray it encourages you today in a new and exciting way!!! I am so thankful for you and to be able to send these messages of gold to you!!!
“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
Grace is a HUGE word for believers and I’ve always known that but I think it’s easy to overlook just how HUGE Gods grace really is! I’ve always heard grace and thought, yeah what Jesus gives me when I commit my sins to Him and receive His forgiveness. Even though I should never be able to stand before God or be seen as clean, because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for my sins, His blood breaks the truth of “what should be” and His blood washes me clean of my sin, that’s the truth of what is! The Gospel!!! The grace Jesus gives is so undeserving and when we sin, fall short of Gods ways, His grace picks us up even when we’re in our lowest possible place! The beauty that I know I overlook way too often is the Power of Grace! Gods powerful grace is the catalyst for transformation from the things we come to him to commit and ask forgiveness! By transformation I mean, Gods grace gives us the strength to live in new ways, to purify our heart of worldly or fleshly desires so we can turn away, move past and be obedient to live more like Jesus! Not just saying God I’m sorry for doing this or that, please forgive me, then keep going whatever way you want so you wind up right back where you started! Jesus didn’t die on the cross for our sins so we could just roll around in them and ask for forgiveness, He died to pay our sin debt and set us free from the power of sin so we don’t have to live in it anymore! When He died and was resurrected it was for me and you to do the same every single day. Die to the old, walk in the new. When we’re in our weakest points, we feel like we can’t go no more, we want to give up, that’s when Christ shows up and shows out giving you everything and then some to keep walking out this life no matter what your struggle! His grace is much more powerful than we could ever imagine and I don’t even feel worthy to talk about it but dang isn’t it awesome!! The only key to unlocking this powerful grace, you ready it’s a big one, BELIEVE IT!!! It’s so easy and simple, that’s why I seem to overlook it so much! Believe that your sins are forgiven and paid for by the blood of Jesus, believe that even in your weakest state the power of Jesus grace will lift you up! The moment you believe that Jesus’ grace is powerful enough to change you, you are changing! The more you believe, the more you will continue to walk more like Him! Because of this same grace I’m jacked to tell you that I struggle a lot, I sin, and I’m weak but I can boast in my weakness cause the grace of Jesus shows up even more! Tap into His grace today!
God Gold of the Day
This is a God Gold message that was one of the first ones shared on the blog, ran across it today and it was such an awesome reminder! I pray that this message will do the same for you and raise your expectations to the victory that you have been given in Christ!!! Have an awesome day and enjoy!
“for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.“
Staying in Philippians today because after yesterday’s message of learning about trusting the process, I couldn’t get away from the example Paul is setting here. It blows my mind to see Paul write these things while sitting in prison. His attitude of hope and faith in the worst possible circumstances makes me question a lot about my attitude. As much as I’d love to sit here and wish to be as faithful as Paul or so many other heroic guys in the Bible, it’s awesome knowing that the same Savior that is supplying his faith is the same Savior that we worship today, Jesus Christ! Paul is speaking out of His relationship with Christ, his attitude is solely in the victory Christ won for us on the cross and then raising up from grave! It’s hard to wrap my head around living in that victory and even more putting my daily expectations in His victory.
I constantly look at things with my own vision, I see, feel and act out of how I interpret things to be or on how others interpret it. And that’s why my expectations every day are always so low. We’re constantly influenced with what the world says you can do, who you can be, and who you are. I don’t know about you but I feed into those lies way more than I should and it affects every part of my life. Whether it’s with a struggle I’m having with sin, someone else, or whatever it is, my expectations are horizontal and I see things like fighting a losing battle so in return I am fighting a losing battle. It’s like if you walk out on the football field to play a game, you expectations of winning are pretty low already but you see the other team warming up. WOW!!! Those guys are huge, they’re bigger, faster, and stronger than me so you tell yourself “I’m not winning today.” You feed into the words being said by others about how much better that other team looks and by the time you get on the field to play you’ve already lost.
I hate that I’ve lived my life this way for so many years, living in fear and weakness of what the world says is the truth and my expectations getting so low that when I step on the playing field of life everyday, I’ve already lost. When problems and obstacles come up that look so much bigger than me, my expectations get lower and I’m defeated.
Got some good news for you now! Jesus died on the cross and rose up from the grave on the third day so we could finally break the chains of those old expectations that led to a sad life of sin and death. He did that to bring victory into our lives through having a relationship with Him. When you are operating with Jesus living in and with you, you’ve already won! The victory is yours! Things may not always look like you’re on the winning side in this life but look at Paul’s situation. He’s sitting in prison and because his eyes and heart are fixed above, on Jesus and the victory Jesus won for us, he doesn’t see all the bad and defeat in what others would describe his situation as. He has died to those worldly influences and human expectations but he’s alive in Christ! Paul sees the victory Christ won and what gets me jacked up is the FREEDOM that comes when someone is united closely in their relationship with Christ!
Just think about that Freedom for a second! We don’t have to put our hope and trust in anything or anyone else and thank God we don’t have to put it in ourselves because those expectations bring defeat every single time. When we’re faced with obstacles and struggles that are way bigger than ourselves, that’s okay because when we put our trust and expectations in Christ, in the victory He’s already won for us and who He says we are, those huge giants start to get real small. What freedom that is!!! Looking at situations in our daily lives that should have us shaking at our knees or what the negative influence of the world says about it, we don’t have to give into that! With Christ, we can look at those situations and say “so what? I may be in prison but I still got Christ and whether I die or get outta here both are awesome because I’ll be with Christ.”
I pray we can embrace the expectations of freedom and victory Christ has given us! That we can go into our day not giving into those low and lying expectations! Put our hope and trust in Christ, lifting our eyes to the Kingdom so when we look around us we have Christ-like vision and expectation that no matter what happens, we belong to a Kingdom and Savior that can’t be shaken, can’t be beat!
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