Follow Me

Jesus said to His disciples “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” “And he said to them, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” “My Sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow Me: (Matthew 16:24, Matthew 4:19 & John 10:27)

When Jesus called the disciples we see in Matthew 4:20 that “immediately they left their nets and followed Him”

Follow Me…

This is the call of every disciple of Christ. Follow Me.  It is easy to find yourself struggling to know all the ends and out of what your call is. Or if you should be doing this or that?  What does the Lord want? How does it work?  Christ is asking you to set aside all the anxieties and just follow Him. There are times when God reveals the details of His plans before they are finished but more often you find that He reveals the marvels of His plans as they unfold.

When Jesus called the disciples He did not give them a syllabus of their entire time with Him. He just said follow Me. The rest was laid out as they walked with Him. This is both simple and complicated. Simple in the fact that you just have to hear the Lord and follow His leading. Complicated in that there are so many other distractions and “noise” that has the potiential to keep us from hearing or following. Also sometimes the path the Lord walks us through can cause us to doubt if we are really following Him. We see this in Joesph’s story.  God gave him a dream of saving his family and nation. The next thing he knows he is thrown in a pit, then sold into slavery, wrongfully accused, thrown in prison, and forgotten. You have to bet that there were days where he wondered what is going on with this path the Lord was taking him through. This is where most people loose faith.  We find ourselves tempted to create a doctrine on why this must be happening. We wonder if we have missed the Lord. When we are following the Lord let’s just say He doesn’t always take the routes that we think He would. We always imagine roses, angelic singing and dollar bills everywhere.  Just as in Joesph’s story, to walk with the Lord is to know Him along each step of the path. The Bible meantions several times that the Lord was with Jospeh and in the end Joseph was in a position to save his family and his nation from a famine that would have wiped them out. (Account of Joseph Genesis 37 & Genesis 39-48)

I want to encourage you today to cut away the noise and follow Christ. Ask for His help and He will teach you.

Follow Me… “immediately they left their nets and followed Him’

Additional References:

Hearing the Voice of the Lord

The Gathering Testimony: Joanna Gaines

***please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or if you need prayer.

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Lessons from Nehemiah

Today I want to share about a few things God was showing me through the story of Nehemiah when he rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem. There is A LOT in this story so I am only expanding on part of the story. (Nehemiah 4:15-23) We find in this story that the walls of Jerusalem had been burned in previous wars. In chapter 4 of Nehemiah we see that the Israelites were in the process of rebuilding the wall and they had enemies that were not too keen on the idea. Read full story Nehemiah 3 to 7) Nehemiah had each person responsible for rebuilding and defending their part of the wall. They had a tool in their hand and a sword tied around their waste. If they were attacked they would defend their portion of the wall, and with the blow of a trumpet to alert the rest of Israel of the attack and the need for reinforcements.

What I want to share about this story:

What’s your place in the wall?  Each of us have a place in the Kingdom of God. After we have made God Lord of our lives. (Learn how here) It’s important to hear the Lord on what is your place on the wall? (Learn how to hear the voice of the Lord)  God has a place that is uniquely yours. It’s crafted for you. When a person comes to know the Lord, but does not seek the Lord for their place in the Kingdom you’ll find that their passion and love for the Lord will wain. We learn in Proverbs 28:19 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” We will find true joy being in the place that the Lord has for us.

What tool have we been given? God has given us each gifts and talents that we were created to use. The list is long. Someone’s tool could be their creativity, being a parent, being a friend, etc. The list really is so long I can’t even begin to do it justice. What is the tool that God has given you?  What are the things that He’s placed in your heart? It is so common to limit what we believe God counts as a gifting or calling. 2 Timothy 1:6 says For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” We must seek the Lord and learn what is the tools He’s placed in our hands?

Keep your sword polished. Ephesians 6:17 says  “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. The Word of God is our sword of the Spirit. Please keep in mind we do not fight flesh and blood but the works of the enemy the devil. (Ephesians 6:12) It’s important that we keep ourselves sharp in the Word of God. Reading, memorizing scriptures, studying and asking the Lord to help us understand.  As with a physical sword it is little use against the enemy if we do not know how to use it. If we don’t spend time getting familiar with the weight and balance.

Know that your part is important. We have a place in the wall, we’ve been given the tools and we are polishing our swords. We must also understand that the part we play is important. We are way to quick to dismiss ourselves as not important. I encourage you to examine that thoughts and see it for it’s falsehood. The God of all creation created you. Jeremiah 1:5 says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” He loved you enough to die to pay the price for every sin you’ve committed and will commit Hebrews 12:1-3 we learn that for the joy (us) set before Him He endured the cross. Christ counted you worth of the cross. Remember your part is important.

I encourage you take time and really take these points into your heart and mind. Seek the Lord as you learn: What’s your place in the wall? What tools have you been given? How to polish and use the Word of God. And allow your importance to truly sink in.

The Cross

Most of us are aware of the Cross. We’ve seen it everywhere. From a decretive piece on church pulpits to the backdrops for heavy metal bands.  From the mountain tops to the adornments around our necks. But what does it mean? Truly it would take pages to write about the fullness of the meaning of the Cross. The cross was where love met sacrifice.  When God created man, He created him with the purpose of relationship. Sin through disobedience separated us from that relationship. (see what happened) Now sin through our human nature passes that separation from generation to generation. There is no good deed, level of humility or amount of penance that can restore us back to fullness of relationship with God.

Romans 6:23– For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

There was a price for sin. It was eternal separation from God. But the Bible tells us in Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ He paid the price for our sins. He stepped in and paid a price we could not. The cross is about a love. The true pure love that Christ has for us. There has been so many things that have tried to distort the meaning of the cross. I wanted to dedicate this post to refocusing the the purpose of the cross. To refocus back to the fact that Christ loves us with a passion that caused the God of all creation to send His only son to die for us. To restore relationship again. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

If you have had a revelation of the FullSizeRender
cross but have allowed the things of the world to dull the closeness of the Lord, I’d encourage you to call out to Him again and ask for a renewed passion and closeness.

If you’ve never had an encounter with the Lord or revelation of the cross. I encourage you to call out to the Lord and ask that He’d revel His love and the purpose of the cross. Begin to open the bible to the New Testament and learn who Christ is and what He’s done for us. (How to give your life to the Lord)

Know that the God of all creation sent His Son to die for you. So you could be set free from the wages of your sin. He loves you and He has great plans for your life.

 

The Cross Video

Stories of people who have had encounters with the Lord

Rappers – Lecrea – Dillon Chase

 

 

Uniquely His

This week I’ve been pondering the beauty of God’s creation. If you examine all the individual details of creation. How every snowflake is uniquely different.  If you look at
the ocean and how the eco system is precariously balanced to sustain life. The
mystery of the human body built cell upon cell, each part with individual purpose yet part of the whole. Taking time to examine the plant world in it’s billions of variation. Each flower painted with it’s own beauty. You see purpose and plan in every detail. This is the God of the Bible. And of all creation He created us in His image. He breathed life into us. He created us with our own specific design. Not just in our human bodies, but in our gifting, calling, personalities and purposes.

My heart has been overwhelmed this week thinking about people who have not met the Lord, but have been told many lies about Him. One of those lies is that to serve H
im, to give your life to Him means to conform to a set of standards that gthumb_IMGP1851_1024rind against who God has created them to be. Some might call it a “cookie cutter” Christian.  God does call us to a life set apart for Him. Serving Him allows the life He breathed in us way back in the garden to flow freely. It brings life! He takes those places that are hurt, wounded, lifeless and He brings them to life. For those that are in the arts He expands your artistic vision and abilities to a new level. The leaders He gives you vision you’ve never dreamed of. To the dads and moms He teaches you how to raise strong men and women. To the music artist He is the creator of music and there’s nothing like learning from Him.  My prayer is that people would see the Lord and His purpose for their lives clearly and that the lies would fall away. I pray that they can walk in the freedom that comes from knowing the Love of the Lord.

The other group of people that have been on my mind are those that have met the Lord. Those that at one point had felt His breath of life in their lives. Those who cauthumb_IMGP1870_1024ght fire(passion) for the Lord. Those who experienced His love and have never been the same. Those who through interactions with people who only knew about the Lord  but do not know Him were taught “don’t be so excited”, “don’t be to loud”, “dress so, so”, “talk this way”, “sing that way”.  The interactions that preoccupied their mind and heart and caused them to stifle the breath of life that was from God. No shame, Many people have found themselves here. For you I pray that you will call out to God again. To breathe fresh in your heart. To step out again in the passions that God placed in your heart. That business idea, that humanitarian aid, become that doctors, mechanic, the ideas to love your neighbor, the wild passionate display of your love for your God.

I truly believe that if people encounter the love of God their lives will be changed forever. Be the unique child of God He has created you to be. No fear. Freely walking in your purpose.

A few examples of people doing what God has called them to do.

Music and Spoken Word- Dillion Chase and David Bowden

Humanitarian Aid, Science, Botanist, Business People all working together- Bridge of Zion

Retirement Homes- Heritage Communities

Business Men & Women- Kingdom Business Association

Please keep in mind these are just examples. It’s important to first come to know the Lord. Then second as you spend time with the Lord, ask Him. What’s my purpose and begin to walk in it.

Hearing the Voice of the Lord

This blog is dedicated to inspire people to build a relationship with the Lord. As we go about our daily lives one of the most important things is knowing the voice of the Lord. There are a lot of books, videos and training materials out there that can support you in understanding the theological aspects of hearing the Lord. I encourage you to read/watch them when you get a chance. The one thing I want to highlight in this post is that there is no substitute to spending time with the Lord. This is how you will truly know the voice of the Lord.

Proximity: Nearness in place, time, order, occurrence or relation

John 10:27-My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

How do the sheep know the shepherd’s voice?  He has been with them daily since they were lambs. He’s led them to their food, protected them from harm and mended their wounds. They have spent their lives with their shepherd.

How do we learn the Lord’s voice? What does it look like to “spend time with the Lord”?

The Bible gets called many things, but at the end of the day it is the very worthumb_IMG_5585_1024ds of the Lord. And just like getting to know the voice of a friend or relative it starts by hearing what they are saying.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Romans 10:17– So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

As we read the Word of God we are training ourselves to know what the Lord has said. It enables us to know if something lines up with who He is.

Another part is talking with the Lord. This means just what it says, talk to Him. You will often hear this called Prayer. Prayer in essence is talking to the Lord. After I had made Christ Lord of my Life (The Day I Understood His Love) I began talking with the Lord. It does not need to be fancy. “Hey Lord want to go on a walk?” “Want to go shoot hoops?”. While I was doing these activities I would share with Him my heart, my joys and my pains. I would do them to bring Him honor. I would listen for His voice.

When it comes to methods that the Lord uses to speak to us we must remember He is God, He uses whatever method He would like. We see in scripture a wide range of conversational styles. A few methods include: Life events, other people, music, internal sense, His Word (the Bible), sometimes an audible voice, and more.

I encourage you to begin talking to the Lord. Spend time reading the Bible, share your heart with Him. Don’t focus on getting things from the Lord but on knowing Him.

This is a wide subject and this post has no intention on completely covering the  subject in one post. Please checkout the following resources. Let me know if you have specific questions and please talk with a mature Christian you may know to deepen your understanding.  Most important talk to the Lord. He will answer you.

Other Resources:

How to Hear the Voice of the Lord- Andrew Wommack

Brother Lawrence- Practicing the Presence

Practicing the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence (Full Audiobook)

TD Jakes – Learning to Hear Gods Voice

Friendship with God – Rick Joyner with Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural!

 

 

 

Beginning a Relationship With the Lord

What does it mean to begin a relationship with the Lord? Many people have encountered Him. For some it was at a church or youth camp. For some their first encountered with Christ happened while watching a minister on TV or by a friend sharing their faith. Wherever you first heard the message it’s the foundation for your relationship with the Lord. Let’s review it.

We learn in Genesis that God created the world and everything in it. He also created man and then women. He created them in His image. Through disobedience sin entered the world. This sin nature was then passed down, generation to generation. The bible says this about the state of all men.

Romans 3:23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:10As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;

Romans 5:12Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

 Is sin really a big deal? In the world we live in people wear it as a badge. We are taught that what’s wrong for one might be right for another. To find our standard it’s important to gothumb_100_2931_1024 to the creator of the universe. Making it God’s law that we are held to. As we learned by the verses above, we have all sinned. Let’s see how that sin affects us.

Romans 6:23For the wages of sin [is] death, but the gift of God [is] eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Death here is defined as eternal separation from God. Or as you may have heard it called, hell. God is a just God and sin cannot be in His presence. So if we’ve all sinned and the wages of sin is death and we can’t be in God’s presence with sin in our lives, then what hope is there?

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

This is where it all gets good. God in His great love towards us made a way to pay the price for sin. He sent His Son, Jesus, to live on this earth and be tested as man. He then died on the cross to pay the price of our sin. Three days later He was raised back to life by the power of the Holy Spirit and is now in heaven interceding for us. It’s all about a love of a Father that has no desire for any to perish.

So how do we start this relationship with the Lord? What do we do with this information that the God of the universe didn’t leave us in our sin but paid our price?

Romans 10:9-10  – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation

It’s about accepting that we could not pay the price of sin on our own. It’s about accepting the price Christ paid for us and choosing to give our lives completely to Him. To love Him and to obey. It’s a journey.

Romans 10:17 – So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The first step after saying with your mouth that Christ is your Lord and committing to following Him, is to listen and read the Bible. To talk with Him. To start your journey to fire.

More Resources:  The Cross Video         Roman’s Road