Spending March w/ Jesus 3-24-2009 "Jesus is the most powerful person in the room; watch what he does."
Lord, Help me follow your example and lead as you did; with a servants attitude and heart.
24Jesus replied, "I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25John's baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men?"
They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?' 26But if we say, 'From men'—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet."
27So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Then he said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
Read Luke 10:25-37
Jesus the Intellect and Heart Changer.
Read John 6
Over the past 4 years I have learned so much about the bible. Moving to Greensboro became a huge opportunity for me to get connected with some other people who loved scripture and believed in its authority. Beth and I wound up moving to a neighborhood in NC in which my pastor, associate pastor, small group leader, and volunteer/guest services person all live. Just from my neighborhood, I had access to some men of God who loved their bibles. Not soon after, I discovered Contemporary Christian Music, and that totally revolutionized my life. Singing the Word of God was brand new to me; I went from loving some Jay-Z to worshipping with Jeremy Camp in my car. A couple of years ago I then got connected to guys like Mark Driscoll, John Piper, David Wilkerson, Matt Chandler, Andy Stanley, Greg Laurie, Billy Graham, John MacArthur, DA Carson, etc. These guys are world wide bible teachers and have some of the greatest ability to both preach and teach the bible with its practicality and theology.
Jesus Feeds 5000 people
Read John 6:1-14
I almost am at the half way point of the month in which I have set out to study Jesus through the gospels. One may think that I would be super excited about what I am reading each day and that I would be on a spiritual high. That's very far from the case. I am actually more frustrated today, than I have been in a while.
I'll preface this blog by telling you this. I believe in miracles. I have seen some miraculous things in my life and believe that God can do anything without exception. However, here's my issue. I have never seen miracles like I have been reading about these past 2 weeks. The miracles that I have seen, primarily have to do with the unseen miracles that are not a part of the physical realm. For example, I can see the miracle of regeneration in my own life, no doubt that God gave me a new heart. I can intellectually understand the miracle of justification in which scripture teaches about. I have heard the voice of God verbally in which God spoke to both Beth and I on the same day and said the same thing. I have seen the divine appointment in which I met the perfect person at the perfect time for a God sized reason. The list can go on.
However, I have never seen the undeniable, no questions asked, must have been God, miracle; in the physical sense. Most of the things I have seen can be written off as pure luck, maturity, or coinciedience. For example; I have already blogged about how Jesus turned water into wine, raise people from the dead, pulled a demon out of someone, walked on water, told a storm to "get the hell outta here", escaped a raging mob, healed the blind-deaf-bleeding-dead-sick-poor-etc. All of those things are actual, physical, undeniable, miracles unlike anything I have ever seen.
Every time I come to scripture I see more and more of the miraculous. Jesus was a man who did miracles; and performed signs and wonders. Today a typical Christian barely ever claims any real power which totally contradicts Jesus' words when he said in Acts and Matthew that "we would receive power." Instead, I find myself taking all of the miracles and the supernatural that Jesus accomplished thru teh power of the Holy Spirit and and trying to put some sort of stupid, dumbed down, spin on it so that I don't have to explain why I do not see those things in my life.
Then came today. Jesus took a couple of fish and some bread and fed up to 20,000 people with leftovers. I was about to write some stupid parable about how Jesus wanted to show us that he was the bread of life and is able to fill all of our needs. Na, that's just the wrong answer. Jesus wanted to feed his people and he had the power to do it. They were hungery and he decided to feed them. END OF STORY.
I think that as a Christian I have the right to be frustrated that I do not see the same, or ever similar power in my own life. Does the Holy Spirit not work anymore? Do I not have enough faith? Do I not believe or trust? Does God not want to do those things anymore? I think that American Christianity has taught me to try to and to God for an answer on how to fix something, rather than going to God with the trust and faith that he will supernaturally and miraculously do it himself. The Holy Spirit does work; I do have faith, I believe and trust; and I believe that it is Gods heart to do the supernatural still. I guess I'm just missing something.
God, help me see the supernatural. I want to see the crazy things that I am reading about. Grow my faith so that I will trust you and your ability to do anything. I want to see it.
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I am too anointed to be disappointed, too blessed to be depressed, too chosen to be frozen, too elected to be rejected, have more to shout about than to pout about and have more to sing about than complain about. "To God be the Glory Forever, Amen" Romans 11:36
“A wide – ranging study on American religious life found that the Roman Catholic population has been shifting out of the Northeast to the Southwest, the percentage of Christians in the nation has declined and more people say they have no religion at all”.
“ Northern New England surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious region”.
Jesus Performs Many Miracles
Read Matthew 8:1-13 and Luke 7
Its my anniversary. Can you believe that it has been 6 years since Beth and I tied the knot. Wow.
Anyway, something cool happened with Daniel tonight. Jen put him to bed at about 8:30pm so that Beth and I could go and grab a cheap anniversary dinner to celebrate. When we got home, Daniel yelled to me to come up to his room. When I walked in he told me that he was scared because he had a bad dream. Funny how he was able to have a bad dream but never fall asleep yet. Anyway, I asked him what it was about. He said that he was hanging from a tree and nobody would help him for 7 weeks. RANDOM.
My response was typical. "Daniel, you know that wouldn't happen because you know who'd help you?" (I was thinking that "I" would help him) Of course he humbled me and said, " Yes, Jesus would help me." Then he got all skeptical, which I love by the way.
He said this, "How is Jesus going to ever help me when he doesn't know that I need his help? I can't see him, so how can I tell him that I need him to help me?" I answered, "You pray and believe that Jesus will hear you and and answer." "But Dad, I can't hear Jesus because I can't see him."
Then I went out on a limb. I said, "Yes you can hear him, lets pray right now and asks Jesus to say something to us." So I prayed and just asked Jesus to speak." We were quite for about a minute and then I asked Daniel what Jesus said because I thought that I heard something. Daniel answered with a huge smile, "He just told me that he would always help me and be there for me and I don't need to be afraid."
Funny enough; that just about the same thing that I heard.
My son is already learning to hear the voice of God.
Read Luke 6
This past week we had a friend of ours become a "Born Again, Child of God." It is such a cool story that maybe I will share the full details at another time if she gives me permission. It was one of the most beautiful transformations that I have been able to see in my Christian life so far. I can look back at this person and see how God has been literally wooing her over the past few months. God surrounded her with strong believers, softened her heart to the Word of God, and gave a few people the platform to love her and speak straight with her.
Anyway, one would think that after an experience like this in a persons life, immediately the Holy Spirit wipes out all fear, doubt, lust, etc and makes the life of a believer as simple, easy, and convenient as possible. I mean we're talking about God here. Of course God would do that for us, we're his children, Right? Wrong!! That is not the case at all. Matthew 4 shows us that after the supernatural, the Holy Spirit will lead you into temptation. What???????????? The Holy Spirit leads you into temptation? No he doesn't, Satan leads you into temptation. Wrong again!! Read Matthew 4:1 again and see for yourself. The Holy Spirit does that. That's just how He roles.
I think back to my own life and it is exactly what I experienced. After I became a Christian, I was thrown into a relationship that had sexual temptation all over it, I was put on a basketball team with many unbelievers who were rebelling against God, I was invited to parties, had drugs thrown my way, and many more stories. Unlike Jesus, I failed God in these situations and fell at the feet of temptation.
I will briefly share an excerpt of a dialog that took place after our friend was saved by Christ. I thought it ties in well.
Happy Birthday. So why the Happy Birthday? Because you've been born again!!!!! HOLLA>>>> That’s a big freakin deal. Congratulations. That is huge. The bible says that ALL of Heaven throws a party when one sinner comes to repentance and trusts in Christ. My advise to you from here on out is to just fall more and more in love with Jesus. He is so beautiful and such a gentleman to his children. Be on guard because the enemy will try and convince you that your salvation is not real and you will experience doubt. This is just his normal tactics, but I know your stronger than that.
thank you guys so much, I really feel like I can breathe for the first time ever in my life. Pretty cool, huh? You are right, there have already been thoughts in my head, and I just let Satan know to take it up with God, his issues are not mine.
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.