Category: Discipleship

Is Your Mouth Full of Life or Full of Death?

Be A Life Giver With Your TongueThere are times when someone else says something you’ve been feeling and even trying to express much better, more elegantly than you’ve been able to utter.  Today in my inbox I received this post from Desiring God and that was the case.

In recent weeks and months I’ve been telling several friends and even people who I don’t know well, the power that lies in the tongue.  Or trying to.  Much of what I was trying to express, Jon Bloom says much better than I was able to.  So check out this post and let God refine you into the life-giving-ridiculous-faith-filled-radically-in-love-with-Jesus-disciple He’s called you to be!

FROM DESIRING GOD & JON BLOOM

A lot is at stake in what we say today. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).

In literate societies, tongues include hands that write, type, paint, or sign.

Words Cause Death

People die because of something said. Tongues can be weapons of mass destruction, launching holocausts and wars. Tongues can also be the death of marriages, families, friendships, churches, careers, hopes, understanding, reputations, missionary efforts, and governments.

Words Give Life

But people also live because of something said. The tongue can be “a tree of life” (Proverbs 15:4). Tongues reconcile peoples and make peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). Tongues can make marriages sweet, families strong, and churches healthy. Tongues can give hope to the despairing, advance understanding, and spread the gospel.

So what will come out of your mouth today, death or life? “Sword thrusts” or “healing” (Proverbs 12:18)?

What Fills Your Heart?

It will all depend on what’s filling your heart. Jesus said, “. . . out of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). A critical heart produces a critical tongue. A self-righteous heart produces a judgmental tongue. A bitter heart produces and acerbic tongue. An ungrateful heart produces a grumbling tongue.

But a loving heart produces a gracious tongue. A faithful heart produces a truthful tongue. A peaceful heart produces a reconciling tongue. A trusting heart produces an encouraging tongue.

So fill your heart with grace by soaking in your Bible. Soak in Matthew 5, or Romans 12, or 1 Corinthians 13, or Philippians 2. And be very careful taking in the words of death in the newspaper, on the radio, the TV, or the blog.

And pray: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 41:3)

The world is full of words of death. “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19) who “was a murderer from the beginning. . . and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Let us not join him in his “restless evil” (James 3:8).

For “we are from God” (1 John 15:19), and we believe in his Son, Jesus, “the Word” (John 1:1), “the truth and the life” (John 14:6), and who alone has “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Let us join him in speaking these.

Today

Today, make your mouth “a fountain of life” (Proverbs 10:11). Be “slow to speak” in general (James 1:19). Encourage more than you critique. Seek opportunities to speak kind, tenderhearted words (Ephesians 4:32). Say something affectionate to a loved one at an unexpected time. Seek to only speak words that are “good for building up,” that “grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

Be a person whose mouth is full of life.

“And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up” (Acts 20:32).

Mark Driscoll Sermon on Hell – Sneak Peak

Questions about hell and a loving GodI’m a fan of Mark Driscoll.  Because he’s a fan of Jesus, the Bible and absolute truth!  🙂  Anyway, Mark Driscoll is halfway through sermon series on Luke.  This is no ordinary sermon series…he’s taking almost 3 years (106 weeks in all) and he’s over a year and a half in.  This coming Sunday he’ll be preaching, providentially I might add, on Luke 16: 19-31.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, I’m including that passage at the bottom of this post.  You should check that out and read that passage.

Why is this significant to me? Roughly 2 years ago Mark probably approached his elder board to run the idea of a 3 year sermon series 106 weeks in length on the book of Luke by them.  When he did that and they agreed to it, I’m fairly confident that he could not have known that Rob Bell would even be writing a book dealing with the topic of hell let alone what week it would be released and the controversy that would be swirling around it .

But God did!
Which is why the fact that he just happens to be dealing with this particular passage the week after the books release is so like God.  It’s like Him to just work things out that way.

Check out this preview of the sermon.

From the Mars Hill Church Blog (Mark Driscoll’s church not Rob Bell’s church of the same name):

The questions people ask about hell

In this passage, Jesus tells a story about a rich man and a poor man named Lazarus. It is a story Jesus uses to describe heaven and hell, one that uses powerful, even unsettling imagery. Heaven and hell are hugely important topics and do naturally raise a number of questions, and so Pastor Mark takes the second half of this sermon to answer some of the most common ones, including:

1. What is hell? What is it like?
2. Is it possible that people can deny God for their whole earthly lives, and have a second chance after death?
3. Why would God make people who are permanently his enemies? Why does God create certain people when he knows that their only future is to be tortured for all eternity?
4. Is hell temporary? Or are the souls of the damned destroyed?
5. Will everyone who doesn’t know Jesus go to hell? What if you’ve never heard of Jesus at all?

This sermon is an invitation, and it’s up to us to decide how we will each respond. And Jesus has made it abundantly clear what is at stake.

Read the full passage after the jump:

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers —so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

Spiritual Muscle Development for Stronger Faith

We’ve all been asked (or more likely told) by God to wait on Him. Any of you who know my story, you know God has had me here all too often…and if you don’t know, suffice it to say I know a thing or two about waiting on God.

I know several people right now who are in this situation and I’m constantly torn between the pain I feel for them as they wait in the hottest part of Gods refining fire (Malachi 3:2) and the joy I know they will experience as they push through in faith as He refines, purifies and glorifies Himself through them. It is a double edged sword of hope on one side and pain on the other.

And that is why I wanted to share Paul Tripp’s latest post…in the hopes that those who find themselves waiting on God in one form or another would be encouraged and strengthened by these truths from the bible.

So, what happens inside of you when you are asked to wait? Is waiting, for you, a time of stengthening or weakening? Have you ever stopped to consider why God asks you to wait? Let me point you to one of his purposes.
Waiting Is Giving You Time

When God asks you to wait, what happens to your spiritual muscles? While you wait, do your spiritual muscles grow bigger and stronger or do they grow flaccid and atrophied? Waiting for the Lord isn’t about God forgetting you, forsaking you, or being unfaithful to his promises. It’s actually God giving you time to consider his glory and to grow stronger in faith. Remember, waiting isn’t just about what you are hoping for at the end of the wait, but also about what you will become as you wait.

Waiting always presents me with a spiritual choice-point. Will I allow myself to question God’s goodness and progressively grow weaker in faith, or will I embrace the opportunity of faith that God is giving me and build my spiritual muscles? (see Psalm 27:4)

It’s so easy to question your belief system when you are not sure what God is doing. It’s so easy to give way to doubt when you are being called to wait. It’s so easy to forsake good habits and to take up habits of unfaith that weaken the muscles of the heart. Let me suggest some habits of unfaith that cause waiting to be a time of increasing weakness rather than of building strength. These are bad habits that all of us are tempted to give way to.
Habits of Unfaith

Giving way to doubt. There’s a fine line between the struggle to wait and giving way to doubt. When you are called to wait, you are being called to do something that wasn’t part of your plan and is therefore something that you struggle to see as good. Because you are naturally convinced that what you want is right and good, it doesn’t seem loving that you are being asked to wait. You can see how tempting it is then to begin to consider questions of God’s wisdom, goodness, and love. It is tempting, in the frustration of waiting, to actually begin to believe that you are smarter than God.

Giving way to anger. It’s very easy to look around and begin to think that the bad guys are being blessed and the good guys are getting hammered (see Psalm 73). There will be times when it simply doesn’t seem right that you have to wait for something that seems so obviously good to you. It will feel that you are being wronged, and when it does, it seems right to be angry. Because of this, it’s important to understand that the anger you feel in these moments is more than anger with the people or circumstances that are the visible cause for your waiting. No, your anger is actually anger with the One who is in control of those people and those circumstances. You are actually giving way to thinking that you have been wronged by God.

Giving way to discouragement. This is where I begin to let my heart run away with the “If only_____,” the “What if_____,” and the “What will happen if_____.” I begin to give my mind to thinking about what will happen if my request isn’t answered soon, or what in the world will happen if it’s not answered at all. This kind of meditation makes me feel that my life is out of control. And I am able to think my life is out of control because I have forgotten God’s wise and gracious contol over very part of my existence. Rather than my heart being filled with joy, my heart gets flooded with worry and dread. Free mental time is spent considering my dark future, with all the resulting discouragement that will always follow.

Giving way to envy. When I am waiting, it’s very tempting to look over the fence and wish for the life of someone who doesn’t appear to have been called to wait. It’s very easy to take on an “I wish I were that guy” way of living. You can’t give way to envy without questioning God’s wisdom and his love. Here is the logic: if God really loves you as much as he loves that other guy, you would have what the other guy has. Envy is about feeling forgotten and forsaken, coupled with a craving to have what your neighbor enjoys.

Giving way to inactivity. The result of giving way to all of these things is inactivity. If God isn’t as good and wise as I once thought he was, if he withholds good things from his children, and if he plays favorites, then why would I continue to pursue him? Maybe all those habits of faith aren’t helping me after all; maybe I’ve been kidding myself.

Sadly, this is the course that many people take as they wait. Rather than growing in faith, their motivation for spiritual exercise is destroyed by doubt, anger, discouragement, and envy, and the muscles of faith that were once robust and strong are now atrophied and weak.
One of His Primary Shaping Tools

The reality of waiting is that it’s an expression of God’s goodness not empirical evidence against it. He is wise and loving. His timing is always right, and his focus isn’t so much on what you will experience and enjoy, but on what you will become. He is committed to using every tool at his disposal to rescue you from yourself and to shape you into the likeness of his Son. The fact is that waiting is one of his primary shaping tools.

So, how do you build your spiritual muscles during the wait? Well, you must commit yourself to resisting those habits of unfaith and with discipline pursue a rigorous routine of spiritual exercise.

What is the equipment in God’s gym of faith? Here are the things that he has designed for you to build the muscles of your heart and strengthen your resolve: the regular study of his Word; consistent godly fellowship; looking for God’s glory in creation every day; putting yourself under excellent preaching and teaching of Scripture; investing your quiet mental time in meditating on the goodness of God (e.g., as you are going off to sleep); reading excellent Christian books; and spending ample time in prayer. All of these things will result in spiritual strength and vitality.

Is God asking you to wait? So, what is happening to your muscles?

Just in case you’re ready to worship after that I thought I’d share one of my favorite songs on worshiping and waiting…

Who Is This Wretched Man Living In A Non Continual Victory Over Sin?

I am a wretched man.  And earlier tonight I felt like a divided or conflicted man.  It’s a feeling I’ve felt before after realizing my sin, but tonight was like no other.  I knew I needed to write about it here and share what I believe God showed me.

I know that I’m saved by Grace and not by my filthy works.

Thank God for that.

I know also that Jesus came to earth in human form and “became sin”, without sinning so that I could be “credited” with His righteousness, without my doing anything righteous.

Again, thank God for that.

And in and through all that, I am comforted, challenged and encouraged by Romans 7:14-25 when I listen to Paul describe what I believe to be one of the great challenges of genuine followers of Christ.  And that is…how are we to respond to failures to triumph over the sin in our lives?

One of the reasons I made Live2Worship.net was to showcase the glory of God.  The tagline says it best…”it’s why we’re here”.  But another reason in the beginning was to share with the world, both believers and non-believers, what God is doing through, to and for me.

Tonight’s post is an outpouring of something I can’t contain.  My prayer is that it helps my readers deal with, think about and fight against the ongoing, ever-present sin in their lives.

In my continual battle to crush sin in my life, like all Christians I win some and lose some battles, realizing that Christ won the war by dying on the cross and raising from the dead.  But sometimes when I blow it, I’m shaken to my core, as I was tonight.

I began thinking about Paul’s words as I prayed asking God to forgive me and telling Him how broken I was about my condition and actions.  As I read the verses, a few things struck me that were significant, but one thing stood out.  And that is that this is clearly a man who LOVES God and dearly, deeply loves the LAW of God.  Non-believers can’t do that.  And the thing that became crystal clear to me is that there is a genuine, proper response that Christians should have to their sin.  And this passage is the model for that response.

Let me share 2 quotes from 2 Godly men that summarize this passage.

The first is J. I. Packer.  J. I. Packer wrote an article on this passage in 1999 and he has this to say about this passage:

Paul is not telling us that the life of the “wretched man” is as bad as it could be, only that it is not as good as it should be, and that because the man delights in the law and longs to keep it perfectly his continued inability to do so troubles him acutely. . . . The “wretched man” is Paul himself, spontaneously voicing his distress at not being a better Christian than he is, and all we know of Paul personally fits in with this supposition.

The next quote is John Piper paraphrasing the proper response laid out in these verses.  He says the Christian should say,

· I love the Law of God. Verse 22: “I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man.”

· I hate what I just did. Verse 15: “I am doing the very thing I hate.”

· Oh the wretchedness I feel in these times! I long for deliverance from this body that constantly threatens to kill me, and that I have to mortify day after day. Verse 24: “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (see Romans 6:6; 8:10, 13).

Nobody should want to live this way. Or settle to live this way. That’s not the point. The point is, when you do live this way, this is the Christian response. No lying. No hypocrisy. No posing. No vaunted perfectionism. Lord, deliver us from a church like that – with its pasted smiles, and chipper superficiality, and blindness to our own failures, and consequent quickness to judge others. God give us the honesty and candor and humility of the apostle Paul.

This is encouragement for the person who loves God and His laws.  The Christian experience is not perfect, but it is real.  The enemy wants to lie to us and convince us when we fall that we’re cast out and useless to God or that He doesn’t love us anymore or that there’s a limit to His grace, mercy and love.

Rubbish.  Complete and total garbage.

Be distressed by your sin.  Do not make peace with it, but continue to fight with it deep within you.  For the rest of your life.  Understand your condition and fight the good fight until in that twinkling of an eye, you are changed.  Be encouraged by others who have fought the fight before you.  And most of all, by the living Word of God that transforms us, changes us, and brings us peace, hope and life.

Share your thoughts, struggles and encouragement below.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

How Well Do You Know Jesus – Better Questions, Better Relationship With Jesus

Jesus on Cross “Why me?”

You hear people ask questions like this all the time. Or…

“What did I do to deserve this?”

Maybe you’re even one of them?  I know I used to be and still lapse back into THINKING this type of thing every now and then when things get really tough.  But after reading a book by Andy Andrews called The Traveler’s Gift and digging into the Word a bit deeper, I’m convinced that the questions we ask ourselves not only set us up for failure or success in any given situation, but they also point to how we view and understand our relationship with God.  Let me explain by giving you some examples from scripture.

Our Questions Reveal How Well We Know Jesus

When Philip asked Jesus, “show us the Father…” Jesus replied…

“Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”
(John 14:9)

See how Phillip didn’t fully understand WHO Jesus was and what His relationship to the Father was?  Jesus goes so far as to ask him “Don’t you know me, Phillip?”.  On the surface that seems pretty harsh, but even illustrates this further with “even after I have been among you such a long time?”.  While grace abounds, it’s clear Phillip asked the wrong question here based on Jesus’ response.

So does God expect us to know everything?  Nope.  That’s grace in action.  But knowing Jesus as well as is possible is the point.  Heaven and eternal life is not the point.  Eternal life with Jesus is the point.  Oh how I hope I’m wrong with what I’m about ready to say, but say it I will.  I fear so many people have said a prayer, started going to church, serving, singing and tithing thinking they are all set.  But while all those things are good, if done without seeking to make Jesus the all consuming passion and joy of your life, I fear some of them may be the ones he says “I never knew you” to.  I can’t think of anything more awful than hearing those words on that day and nothing better than “Well done good and faithful servant”.

Let’s look at some more examples.

Consider the woman at the well.

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  (John 4:9-14)

This is such a beautiful picture of so many wonderful things and so much can be said about this passage of scripture, but let’s focus on the questions.  She asks Jesus “How can you ask me for a drink?” thinking why in the world is this teacher even talking to me.  Jesus says [paraphrased] “If you knew who I was, you’d be asking me for eternal life”.  So let’s pause right there.  Jesus says “if you knew…who it is that asks you for a drink…”.

Do you see it?  She’s got the same problem that Phillip had but with a better excuse.  She doesn’t know who she’s talking to.  But notice, even though she’s still not clued in, her questions get a bit better cause she starts asking about who she’s talking to (in the “are you greater than our father Jacob” part).

Our Brains & Questions

Your brain is amazing.  And it’s because it’s so amazing that it does some slightly peculiar things.  One of those things is racing ahead and trying to constantly serve up answers to questions you ask or someone asks you.  But sometimes our brains can get stuck in a rut.  To illustrate this, try this easy test suggested in 101 Ways To Generate Great Ideas, Timothy R.V. Foster:

What do you call a funny story? – joke

What are you when you have no money? – broke

What’s another word for Coca Cola? – Coke

What’s the white of an egg? ——————–

So this is an easy one right?  Well it is if you said albumen.   It isn’t yolk, it’s albumen. Were you tricked? Most people are. The brain likes to race ahead, because it THINKS it already knows the answer.  You see your brain will always try to answer the question you ask it…even when the answer it serves up is wrong.

So when you ask self defeating or God limiting or earthly prospective (vs heavenly perspective) based questions like “why me”, you’re brain is going to work hard to serve up an answer.  But if it’s the wrong question to ask in the first place (and as a christian it most certainly is because of our knowledge of God), your soul, mind and heart don’t really WANT an answer to THAT question.  As a matter of fact, in general, they take your focus completely off God and put it squarely where it doesn’t belong…which is onto you.

Peter asked Jesus in John 21:21 “Lord what about him” in reference to how another disciple would die based on Jesus, one verse earlier, telling Peter how he was going to die.  His focus was completely on himself and not on Jesus and His perfect plan.  By the way, in the next verse Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

How much better it would be if we set our brains on a quest to answer a question with a heavenly perspective…such as, “Lord is there something I need to learn from this”, or “Lord, can you teach me how to make you my all consuming joy and passion in life”?  The brain would be on a quest to find the answer to empowering questions that bring life.  See the difference?

Pilate asked Jesus what is truth when “it” (Jesus) was standing right in front of him.  The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” Martin Luther King, Jr.

So instead of asking the self defeating or God limiting questions like  “Why me?”, train yourself to begin asking “Why NOT me?  Adversity is preparation for greatness”.  Just remember that when you ask Jesus a question His focus is on you fulfilling His purposes and will not your own.  As we live our daily lives as believers I pray your focus and mission would become one with His for your life.  Then and only then will we truly live.

Finding God In Tough Times – 7 Biblical Facts To Lean On When Things Get Tough

  1. Finding God In Tough Times God is all powerful, all knowing, all encompassing.
    Nothing gets by Him, nothing surprises Him and nothing catches Him off guard.  While there are things that disappoint Him, we must never forget even when He’s disappointed, He’s not surprised.
     
  2. He is Creator God.
    He created the heavens and the earth which we call the universe and everything on it, in it and around it…put simply, He created EVERYTHING.
     
  3. He loves every single person He created.
    He knows them intimately even to the cells of their body and the hairs on their head being numbered.  That includes us.  He loves us more than we love ourselves or even more than we love our own children.  He loves our children more than we love them.  His love is unimaginable.  We should reflect that love to others.  In doing so, we fulfill what we were put here to do; glorify His name by making Jesus our all consuming passion.
     
  4. He wants the best for us.
    This is a natural outpouring of number 3.  He isn’t always going to make our paths easy (in this world you will have trouble), but he will make them straight (Proverbs 3: 5-6; but make sure you read what your/our part is in that one…it’s critical).  Another even clearer scripture is this one:  “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” – Jeremiah 29:11 Make no mistake the Lord loves us and wants the best for us even when we can’t see it.  Our problem is how we define “best”.  We think of best in earthly perspective; money, health, fame, riches, happiness because of our circumstances.  God defines best as how much glory your life, even in and through your suffering at times, brings Him.  In other words, the best He can give us is Him and when your happiness comes from Him DESPITE your circumstances.
     
  5. We have a part to play.
    Sometimes I think Christians fall into the temptation of thinking that all they have to do to be in good standing with God (and be an effective Christian) is avoid sin, go to church and tithe.  I know I have before and still struggle sometimes with feeling vindicated or good enough or entitled.  But the question is What does God require? Hopefully you’ve read Worship by Joseph Garlington that I recommended a while back, but if not, I HIGHLY suggest you get it and read it.  In the beginning he reminds us of an old testament scripture where God told the people; no worship, no rain.  I’ve quoted this several times on stage.  There are conditions sometimes for provision.  I think sometimes we forget that about God.  Don’t misunderstand me, we could never EARN our way into heaven that’s what being saved by Grace is about and we should all be thankful for that one.  BUT, we should ask…What Does God Require? We should all be asking ourselves that question every day.  For that day, for that situation, for that hour, for that time, for our lives, for our family, for our church, for our team, for our FILL IN THE BLANK HERE.
     
  6. He is God, we aren’t.
    Sometimes as believers, we seem to outgrow our “britches” as my grandma used to say.  See, our kids don’t always know why we’re having them do something or endure something or wait for something or go through something, but we’d NEVER hurt them or subject them to pain unnecessarily.  Neither would He and even more so.  And finally…
     
  7. Is my focus on the earthly aspect or heavenly aspect?
    It’s good to refocus and re-align every now and then and especially at cross roads like you find yourself and I find ourselves in at times.  But always, all the time, in all ways, in every situation, with every person, our focus should be sooner rather than later the heavenly aspects of the thing.  The question I always ask here is God what do you want me to learn here?  What do you want me to see here and how can I affect the Kingdom positively in this thing.
     

Do We Love Our Life Too Much?

love earth too muchI used to fear the return of Christ.

Then, at some point later in my walk, the fear of His return turned into resistance for lack of a better word.  In other words, I had (and have) a great life here on Earth and so while I would have told you I loved Jesus dearly (more on that a bit later), I wasn’t quite ready for Him to come back.

Looking back, I do believe that a large part of it was that I wasn’t well versed in scripture and had always heard about all the “bad stuff” in the book of Revelation.  So I figured there would be a lot of “bad” before we got to the “good” of Jesus returning.  However, this lack of biblical understanding and being infant in my faith so to speak wasn’t the only factor.  I now believe I suffered from then an addiction of sorts.  An addiction to “the good life” here on earth I had built for myself.

This is going to be a short post and as such, let me throw out some tough scriptures that the Lord is allowing me to chew on these days.  Scriptures that I’ve both read and heard HUNDREDS of times before now, but somehow I’m just now recognizing a HUGE blind spot in my life up until now.  Let me openly confess that I have asked God to forgive me for any willful disobedience to His word and any continued resistance even now as I wrestle out what they mean to me, my family, and how we live.

I want to make sure that no one that reads this blog ever feels any condemnation from me or anything I post and I wanna also remind you all to follow Christ not Jason Koeppe.  Scripture is what guides our lives not what some blogger or even a pastor says.  HOWEVER, one of the reasons I started this blog was because I felt deep in my spirit that I/we were and are being called to more and that there are, as a result, a LOT of sleeping Christians (not sure that isn’t an oxymoron) who think they’re ok (translate saved and going to heaven) because they prayed a prayer, go to church and tithe.

Anyway, here is the question I pose to you with these scriptures…”What Does the Gospel Demand”?

Luke 9:57-62

Luke 14:33

Matthew 10:37-39

As I walk through and unpack all I can in these and other verses in scripture, I’ll record what God is doing in my life as a result.  The question is simple, but the answer might take us places we have never been.  Here’s the bottom line…

Do I/YOU believe the Bible?

May God give us ears to hear and eyes to see the truth found in His word.  I pray God that I nor anyone who reads these posts would ignore them or willfully disobey them but rather be transformed by them and let it completely change the way we live.  More to come…soon.

What Does It Take To Waste Your Life?

Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper

Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper

What kind of life must you live for God to say at the great day of judgment…”you’ve wasted the precious life I’ve given you”?

Better yet, how must you live for YOU to conclude that you’ve wasted your life?

Sound like harsh questions? If so, then you should see what John Piper (and I conclude) thinks is the answer! I found this book several days ago and it’s hitting me like a ton of bricks right now cause I feel like John is saying what I’m not able to put into words as well as he did. I feel like this book is going to be yet another wake up call for me to realize that God is calling me (and you) to a higher standard, a deeper love, a more resolute passion and an unwavering commitment to His Glory.

Do yourself a favor…Christian or not, go download the FREE copy of this book and read it from cover to cover. Don’t forget to subscribe on the right side of this page as we’ll be providing some AWESOME tools, tips, encouragement and resources to help you make sure that you Don’t Waste Your Life!

It’s Crazy…Isn’t It?

I recently heard about a book that seemed to really speak to the heart of what this site is all about.  It’s called Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  I haven’t finished it yet, but I want to share just a small section of content from the back of the book and one quote from the inside.  Check this out:

Have you ever felt like we were missing it?

It’s crazy if you think about it.  The God of the universe – the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles…galaxies and E-minor – loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love.  And what’s our typical response?  We go to church, sing some songs and try not to cuss.

Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not…we all know something’s wrong.

  • Why are there are over 350,000,000,000 BILLION galaxies…that we know of, most of which the human race has only seen in the last few years due to the Hubble telescope?
  • Why does a caterpillar have 228 separate muscles in it’s head (that’s a lot for a bug don’t you think)?
  • The average elm tree has approx 6M leaves on it
  • Your own heart generates enough pressure to squirt blood up to 30 feet
  • He didn’t have to put over 3,000 species of trees within 1 sq mile in the Amazon jungle or so many different kinds of laughter (you know…wheezes, snorts, quiet, loud, obnoxious), but he did.
  • Did you know that spiders, when spinning their web can produce up to 60 ft of silk per hr while simultaneously producing a special oil on their feet so they don’t stick to their own web…that deserves some respect!
  • When you get goose bumps, the hair in your follicles is actually helping you stay warmer by trapping heat.
  • Or have you ever marveled at the fact that plants take in Carbon dioxide and produce oxygen?
  • And those same plants started as a seed in the dirt, some watered some not, that transformed and defied gravity and poked their head/sprout out of the ground and into the sunlight.

The rest of the back cover says…

Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo?  Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world in tangible, even radical solutions?  God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself.  Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of dos and don’ts – it’s falling in love with God.  And once you encoutner His love as Francis describes it, you’ll never be the same.

Because when you’re wildly in love with someone…it changes everything.

And here’s a quote from the book:

“Whatever God’s reasons for such diversity, creativity and sophistication in the universe, on earth and in our own bodies the point of it all is His glory.”