Consumed with What Christ Has Done for You

Consumed with What CHrist Has Done for You

How many times have you heard the phrase “It’s not about you?”  Some Christians are constantly reminding themselves and others of this, in an attempt to avoid becoming full of themselves. While we shouldn’t be totally wrapped up in ourselves all the time, the idea that it’s not about us can be over emphasized to the point that it actually holds a portion of the body of Christ back from doing what God’s called them to do.

Here’s what I mean by that. Some people conclude that since it’s about God, not you, if you enjoy doing something that brings you before the eyes of the public, you must be doing it to try to bring glory to yourself instead of Him. Therefore, if you want to do anything like speaking, performing music, acting, writing a book, starting a business, or anything else of the kind, you must an arrogant individual who is out only for yourself. While this is sometimes the cases, it most certainly isn’t true of all who are in such a situation!

Think about all the great evangelists and ministers in Christian history. They drew huge crowds, who came to hear them speak. Were they in it for themselves? Was it all about the show with them? Very few of us would say such a thing, and yet their names were widely known. They stood before many, and yet they drew countless people to God. Some of them, in fact, believed so intensely in the importance of bringing the truth of the gospel in front of as many as possible that they faced persecution in the process. If their careers were built off of pride, would they have put up with this?

It is the same today. Though there are those whose main focus is on their glory rather than that of God, this doesn’t immediately characterize all who are doing something that brings them in front of others as prideful, or mean that their motives are tainted. Some of them truly possess a burning desire to share with the world the One who has changed their lives, and have been gifted in a way that enables them to do so with many people at once, through doing something that they love and are good at.

Those within the Church are different parts of the same body, each of whom are individually designed and gifted by their Heavenly Father. Some people’s talents happen to lend themselves to doing things that are more visible, and some people’s talents lend themselves more to the behind the scenes work. Both are equally important – neither better than the other, just different. It’s just like a puzzle that gets messed up if you try to shove the pieces into places they don’t fit. For the body of Christ to function as it’s supposed to, each part needs to be allowed to do what it has been called to do.

The answer, therefore, to the fear of individuals striving to bring glory to themselves isn’t to try and force them into places that they weren’t created to occupy, merely to keep them from getting a big ego. The best way to keep people, whatever their talents and abilities, from being consumed with themselves, is for them to become consumed with the One who is greater than them. Share Jesus and His finished work at the cross, and people will become so overwhelmed by the One who loved them so, that self won’t even enter the picture. They will be humbled not by being told to remain humble, but by the realization of who He is. Propagate the truths of the gospel, and as others catch a glimpse of their wonder, those truths will become what they, whatever their position, propagate as well!

Woodlawn, and the Power of the Gospel

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“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” Romans 1:16. Pureflix’s new movie, Woodlawn, clearly demonstrates this verse!

Based off of a true story, Woodlawn focuses on a high school in Birmingham, Alabama. Because of laws that were passed, the school was forced to become integrated, allowing both black and white students to attend. Black students were also allowed on the football team, which made the team members angry. All of this changed when a sports chaplain name Hank came to town and shared the gospel with the team. Almost the entire team responded by accepting Christ. After this happened, Coach Tandy Geralds found himself wondering why his team was the only place in the city where white and black people actually got along! However, the revival the football team had experienced soon spread to the rest of the school, a rival team, and the entire town, resulting in many, many lives changed by the gospel! The individuals who had experienced the power of the gospel in their own lives were not ashamed of it, and very bold in sharing their faith, standing up for it even in the face of adversity.

All throughout the movie, we see what happens when Jesus steps into people’s lives – hatred is replaced by love and respect for others, enemies become friends, and many are drawn to Him through His transforming power, displayed in the lives of those who have turned to Him. This is the kind of effect the gospel has! There is nothing else that can work this kind of a change – both individually and corporately among His followers. No amount of self-effort, motivational talk, or anything else can bring about true life transformation. The good news of what Christ has done is the power of God to save anyone and everyone who believes – no matter who they were or what they may have done before they accepted it!

Just like the people at Woodland high school whose lives were changed by the good news of Christ, we should be unashamed of our faith. Why be ashamed of something with that kind of power? The gospel is nothing to be embarrassed of or timid about – even though it may not be popular in our modern culture, it is what this world desperately needs. As a matter of fact, it is so amazing and exciting we should want to share it whenever we get the chance! Ask God to give you opportunities to share the gospel with those who need to be exposed to it.

Woodlawn clearly demonstrates both the transforming power of the gospel, and the fact that when we stand unashamed of it, amazing things can happen. If you haven’t already done so, will you accept what Christ has done for you? And if you have, will you begin to share the good news with others?

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

What Would Have Happened?

What Would Have Happened?

What would have happened if God had no longer considered Abraham his friend after he lied about his wife twice to heathen kings to save himself?

What would have happened if God had abandoned Jacob after tricked his father into giving him Esau’s blessing?

What would have happened if God had refused to appoint Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt because he took the law into his own hands and killed an Egyptian, and then fled, spending the next 40 years in the desert?

What would have happened if God had refused to keep his promises to David after he committed adultery with Bathsheba, and was responsible for her husband’s death?

What would have happened if God had discounted Paul because of his past of persecuting believers?

What would have happened if Jesus had refused to come and give His life to save you because He knew that you would keep on making mistakes throughout your life?

Abraham would have never become the father of the nation of Israel.

Jacob, later called Israel, would never have been the one from whom the 12 tribes of Israel descended.

Moses would never have been able to lead the people out of slavery.

David’s family line would not have continued as the royal family line, from which Jesus would one day descend.

Paul would never have written over half of the books in the New Testament, or taken the gospel to the Gentiles.

You would have been utterly and eternally lost, and without hope and without God.

God doesn’t discount us because of our past, or the mistakes we have made.

Stop discounting yourself, and stop discounting others!

God’s Not Dead, and Sharing Your Faith

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The movie God’s Not Dead is all about standing up for your faith in the face of adversity. When instructed by a professor to sign a declaration that God is dead, Josh Wheaton (played by Shane Harper, aka Spencer from Good Luck Charlie) is the only student in class to refuse. As a result, the professor – who is an adamant atheist – demands that he either prove to his classmates that God’s not dead, or face losing 1/3 of his grade.

Josh takes up the challenge, in spite of others urging him to the contrary. While offering logical arguments to prove that God’s not dead, Josh maintains that it all comes down to a choice to either believe or not to believe, and states that he wants the students to be able to make that choice for themselves.

Have you made that choice? Have you chosen whether or not to believe in God, and put your trust in what His Son has done for you? If so, are you willing to stand up for your beliefs, and share the good news with those around you?

In God’s Not Dead, Josh is inspired by the C.S. Lewis quote “Only a real risk tests the quality of a belief.” The gospel is not something to be ashamed of. Our faith in God is not something to hide away in the face of risk.  Let’s be aware of the opportunities that God is giving us to share Him with others, and make use of them!

Have you seen God’s Not Dead? What’s your favorite part of the movie?

http://generationarise.com/gods-not-dead-and-sharing-your-faith/

New Website For Teens and Young Adults – Generation Arise!

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I recently launched a new website for teens and young adults!

The name of the website is Generation Arise (http://generationarise.com/). Generation Arise shares movies and music that will encourage young people in their faith, tackles real life questions, and most of all, shares the truth of God’s Word in a way that this generation can grasp!

The purpose of Generation Arise

The purpose of Generation Arise is to encourage the young people of this generation to arise and shine for God, to grow closer to Him, and to become who He created them to be. I wanted to start a site that was specifically geared towards young people because they are searching for truth, which can only be found in the Word of God, and the good news of the gospel contained within it. They long for something real, but in this modern culture, often end up looking in all the wrong places. My desire for Generation Arise is that it will point them towards the One who is The Truth (John 14:6).

The meaning behind Generation Arise

The website is called Generation Arise because it’s all about encouraging this generation to arise, and to shine forth the light of God. Isaiah 60:1 bids us to arise and shine, and this is what Generation Arise will spur on young people to do. Check out Generation Arise by clicking on the link below, and share it with the teens and young adults that you know!

http://generationarise.com/

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Will You Step Up To The Plate?

Will You Step Up To The Plate?Some thoughts to ponder . . .

How has the good news of what Christ has done affected your life?

How would you sum up the gospel, in your own words?

When it comes to sharing your faith with others, are you unafraid and unashamed to tell them what Jesus has done for them? Or are you hesitant to do so?

Are you willing to step up to the plate and share the gospel with those God places in your life to share it with?

Not Ashamed of the Gospel

Not Ashamed of the GospelWeek 21 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearly finished. This week’s reading was Acts 26-28, and Romans 1-2. Acts 26-28 speaks mainly of Paul defending himself before King Agrippa, him sailing for Rome and getting shipwrecked on the island of Malta, his arrival in Rome, and him speaking to the Jewish leaders there.
In Romans 1-2, we read the beginning of Paul’s epistle to the Roman church.

In Romans 1:16, Paul declares that he is not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for the saving of all who believe. How many of us can honestly say the same thing? How many of us are unashamed to proclaim the gospel boldly when the occasion calls for it? In society today, a willingness to share what Christ has done is becoming more and more rare, yet more and more needed. Someone simply must tell this generation the good news!

What is this good news? What is it that we are to proclaim? Romans 1:17 answers this question. It states that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel – a righteousness that is by faith. This world needs to know that the way to gain acceptance before God is not through being a good person, or performing good deeds. It is through faith in Christ alone. We can’t be made right with God through our own efforts. We can only become right with Him by trusting in Jesus’ righteousness, set to our account. This is the good news we must share!

Know that you have been made right with God through faith in Christ, and share the good news with others, as God gives you the opportunity. Never be ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the saving of all who believe!

You Don’t Have To . . .

You Don't Have To . . .You don’t have to . . .

  • try to avoid speaking of Jesus, and what He has done for you. Modern culture would tell us to keep our faith in Christ to ourselves, in order to avoid offending nonbelievers. However, as believers, we are called to share the good news. Let’s make use of the opportunities to share the gospel that God presents us with!
  • have a schedule that’s filled to the brim, causing you to run yourself ragged. Take time to slow down, relax, and simply be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10)!
  • approach your Heavenly Father with fear or timidity. Jesus took your sins upon Himself, and paid the price for them in full. Your wrongdoings no longer stand between you and God. You can approach His throne of grace boldly (Hebrews 4:16), confident in the knowledge of what Christ has done for you!
  • struggle and strive on your own to always be perfect. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never achieve perfection through your own efforts. Instead, draw closer to your Heavenly Father, and allow His grace to transform you from the inside out!
  • do things the way everyone around you is doing them. Don’t worry about what others are doing, just focus on doing things God’s way!

Which of these common patterns do you need to break away from? How can you begin to do so today?

Linking this post up with Thriving Thursdays at servingjoyfully.com.

Today Is The Day Of Salvation

Today Is The Day Of Salvation A while back, I was reading a book filled with stories of some of the most
well-known evangelists and missionaries in Christian history, when I came across a story that really gripped me. It was about an incident that took place during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Once when he was preaching, Dwight L. Moody concluded his sermon by telling the people to consider the question of what they would do with Jesus over the next week. In doing so, he refrained from issuing an immediate invitation to accept Jesus as Savior.

That very night, the Chicago fire started. The destruction was widespread. Over a hundred died, and thousands were left homeless. Dwight L. Moody deeply regretted putting off a call to receive salvation for an extra week. For the many who died as a result of the fire, time had suddenly run out.

This story clearly illustrates the importance of sharing the gospel with those God has placed within our reach, while we have the chance. 2 Corinthians 6:2 emphatically states that TODAY is the day of salvation. We can’t let hesitation over finding the exact right time and place, or fear of failure or of offending others, keep us from offering the hope that is found only in Christ to those who are desperately in need of Him.

In our modern culture of political correctness, few will step up to the plate and share the good news that many are perishing for lack of. What about you? Will you be one of those who, knowing what Christ has done in their own life, are unafraid and unashamed to share Him with those whose lives they are given an opportunity to touch?
Linking this post up with Thriving Thursdays at servingjoyfully.com.