The Intimate Posture of a Child

The whole lap thing has gotten me pretty worked up a bit. I mean here I am a 22 year old Pastor walking through life and thinking I know things, when in reality I know very little of my Heavenly Father.

My first thing with the illustration is why the lap? I mean I guess I can understand a small child sitting in someone’s lap, that’s “normal” and happens often.

Santa Claus is KNOWN for being at the mall during November – December as parent’s, kids, teenager’s, etc. go to take the photo of Santa’s lap…Maybe that image is “creepy” to you, and well it definitely would be “creepy” for me at 22 to DESIRE to sit in Santa’s lap. Well I’m sure you get my point…sorry for the tangent.

Good thing is God is NOT Santa nor will he EVER be. (Phew)

We’re talking about a God that surpasses our very knowledge. We’re talking about a Father who know’s our intricate details in our life, but CHOOSES to act as if he doesn’t to share a conversation and be WITH us. This means as I speak with the Father he doesn’t say, “Matt I know what you’re about to say,” and cut me off, instead he is eternally patient to hear my story, hurt’s, pain, joys, discouragement’s, and successes. Not only does he want to hear this from me, He wants me to be as close to him as possible so he could hold me, laugh with me, hug me, and WHISPER (not yell) how proud he is of me. Are you close enough to the Father, that if he whispered you could hear Him?

Job 4:12

“This truth was given to me in secret, as though whispered in my ear.

Heavenly Father wants us to be in the most intimate position you can be in as a child, sitting in Daddy’s lap explaining how your first day of kindergarten went. Telling him about your promotion or lay-off, mission’s trip or foreclosure, new family member or a loss of one, new experience or a past hurt. He, the God of the universe is telling YOU to come sit in his lap so he could embrace you fully. Surround you in his presence, and whisper that HE has everything all taken care of and he will walk you through ANYTHING this world throws at you.

God is just beginning to unravel a journey of fatherhood & sonship to me that I may have lacked growing up, but am now starting to understand. Funny how when there’s a hole and void in someones heart nothing but the love of a FATHER could help.

So to all the earthly Father’s….call your kid’s and let them know you love them RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE…and we’ll get to that VERY point in my next post…

“Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?” (Part 2)

When I think of Lord I see King Aragorn from “Lord of the Rings!”)

 

Today we study Kurios ((koo’-ree-os)!
This is the greek interpretation of our english word “Lord.”

Definition: a person who has authority, control, or power over others; amaster, chief, or ruler.

See as my friend Doug had told me, “Many receive Jesus as their Savior, and not their Lord (Kurios).” He showed me that at times I even look at Christ as my Savior and miss the fact that he also to be my Lord. Lord is a word that usually holds great position as in master, supreme authority, or owner. See we must understand what a Lord is to understand the full gospel of receiving Christ as our Lord. See a Lord or man of authority usually rules over someone or something.

If we accept Christ as Savior to redeem us, than we must also accept him as Lord to DIRECT US. He now calls the shots! It means that we are taking a hands off approach to our lives and allowing Jesus to have full custody of our hearts, minds, and bodies. What we do we submit it under His authority and Lordship. He is our shepherd that cares for, guides, and corrects us. He’s my Lord that i wish to serve, make proud, and do His will. He’s a Lord that makes all things right, and has full authority of the heavens. He as MY Lord has full authority over me if I release myself to His service, and it is an amazing place to be.

See my Lord Jesus Christ ALWAYS has OUR best intentions in mind. We are now his mouth piece to carry out his word. He is just, and loving to all those that call upon and receive His name. He saved us, and now we give ourselves to Him so that we may one day live in paradise with him. See he is Lord of our future land, and Lord of our current life. When He speaks I wish to listen. When He calls to me to GO, I wish to be obedient (Often times this is VERY HARD!).

My father God, and Lord Jesus Christ love me dearly and because of this I can see Him as my Lord. The one who will guide my life, and in my surrender take care of every need. Name a GREAT ruler who doesn’t care for those whom he rules. My Lord is the rarest of all and his Kingdom shall reign for all eternity.

So how about it do you accept Jesus Christ as you LORD, and SAVIOR…..?

“Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?”

Often times I have heard this phrase, and only once have I said yes. Growing up in the church setting most of my life i have heard, seen, and asked this question to people. This is the basis of our entire Faith as a Christian is to accept Christ as our “Lord and Savior.” After sitting in my car the other day one of my friends had said this phrase, “See many people accepts Jesus as their Savior, but not as Lord.”

Hmmm…. What exactly did that mean! Unable to shake this question in my head I realized that we do ask one question for Salvation,  but there are actually  TWO ANSWERS! Join me as we look deeper in these two words. First off is Savior!

Definition:
savior [ˈseɪvjə] n.
a person who rescues another person or a thing from danger or harm

Ok so I see how this is rather simple. Do I accept Jesus as my personal Savior? Well yes Totally 100% I accept him. As do many others who come to see Jesus for the first time and have that experience. We see that Christ is our Savior and wishes to rescue us from all harm and as we surrender our lives to Him, He begins to do a transformation in us that defies the laws of this world. We see that in Him we can be made new whole because of His sacrifice on that brutal cross that saved us from our own iniquity. He IS our Savior, and so much more. He wishes to free us from a life of sin and move us into a relationship with Him. He can redeem us from our past and set us on course for a new life. He is our Savior and forever will be the one, and THE ONLY ONE that can set your soul into Heaven.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Tomorrow we look at Christ as also our LORD the one we seem to most commonly miss, and/or forget….

Does God Brag about You!?

Tribulations come in and out of season, it’s a time of testing and growth. Somehow we are supposed to be joyful in some of the most toughest and most trying times in our lives.

God has asked us in

Romans 5:3-4

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Ok so we are supposed to be joyful in hard times because we it produces our character and builds our faith and hope in Christ. I can understand that and I believe that is one of the hardest things to do especially when things are SO BIG it seems impossible to ever get out. Just think when  money is tight, car starts to fail, we get laid off, and life’s necessities need to be replaced what do you feel? Joy right? (WRONG!) Least for me I get stubborn, upset, confused. Well came across this scripture in my friday bible study and this was our discussion.

Job 1:7-12

And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Our smallgroup came to this realization! As a father takes pride in his son/ daughter succeeding in life, so God rejoices in our accomplishments and relationship with him. GOD BRAGS about his servant Job to Satan, GOD is excited and thrilled in his son, and wishes his enemy to see his son’s success. This made us look at the verse in Romans differently all of a sudden. Romans talks about being joyful in tribulations, and it suddenly hit us. God bragged about Job, Satan in return wanted to test his faith, which brought tribulations upon Job. See we can take joy in tribulations because it comes after God smiles at you, and says “Satan see my son/ daughter?” Satan says yes, and God brags about your love for HIM. See trials come what seems to be after God bragged about you, so be JOYFUL in the trail because God thinks very highly of you, and LOVES YOU!

GOD BRAGGED ABOUT YOU SO ENJOY THE FAITH TRIAL!!

But…But…I’m Scared

Teaching Karate in the Tampa area is an amazing job. I have been with Extreme Youth Sports for 2 years now and absolutely love my job. Kids love to come in with their awesome uniforms and loud “HIYA’s!” The passion and skill of these young 3-15 year olds amaze me everyday. God does some amazing things in classroom settings and loves to stop and teach me valuable lessons through his young ones.

Had a student who during class was putting on his “Sparring gear,” (Pads that cover body for no injuries) and came on to the gym floor for stretches and techniques. I look over and i notice him crying during the warm ups, and i ask if everything is alright and he says “yes.” As we continue on he continues to warm up and his dad motions me over. We go outside and have an awesome conversation about his son and where he stands with Hand- to- hand sparring. Apparently he has had a “bad experience,” that has “knocked him off his horse” as they say. He was now terrified to spar again because his experience had crippled his confidence and enthusiasm for sparring.

STOP! God begins to speak…

“Matt,

Do you see this boy terrified for whats about to come. The uncertainty in his eyes because the past experience that has crippled him? Can you see the fear that has slipped in due to one traumatic experience of getting knocked down, even though he has done this countless times? His experiences have shaped this new fear in him, and now he doesn’t want to spar. See you know he’ll be ok because your his instructor and you would never let anything happen to him. You watch for his safety and pair him with competitors that he can handle, but will also stretch his abilities. ”

God wow I see now thanks!

We are no different than children you and I. We all have the capacity to be fearful and timid to situations. Our past experience has crippled us and caused fear from us moving forward. One bad “sparring” experience and we want out of the game. We cry, get scarred, immobilized! We want out even though God looks down sees our “safety gear, knows our capabilities, and would never match us with something we can’t handle.

I ask these questions:

What are we fearful of?

What past experience has immobilized our future?

Do we realize God our Instructor watches us and knows HE won’t give us anything we can’t handle?

But…But…Im scared

Although sometimes we have so much fear we to must trust OUR ” Instructor” allow the stretching to take it’s course and when we fall, get back up. He knows what we can handle and any experience that has crippled us into a state of fear can be gone with a simple attitude adjustment and a loud “HIYA!”  (Just Kidding) Know our past doesn’t have to cripple us, but can motivate us to keep up with the fight and persist on doing “HIS” ministry!!

In the midst…

When you feel like you are experiencing small tremors in life what do you do? When we feel like there seems to be potential for a storm to come billowing through our town, what can we do? When the volcano is showing all sorts of signs that it will blow do we evacuate or bunker down? When a hurricane is in our presence do you go through the hardest part, and hope you’ll see the eye of the storm?

See when life gets tough and you don’t know what to do I have found someone i can run to at anytime. As I sit here listening to “Fall into you” by Phil Wickham, I can only think one thing……He’s here!!

See i have this fear of heights, i don’t like to fall for fear of being hurt. Fact is if i do fall i find myself falling back into him! So now i fall into him….because there’s no where  else to go. See he never leaves me, and is always searching for my heart. This Savior of mine is more than a phase he’s the only thing that is constant and never changes. In the midst of instability i can experience stability. God knows my heart, my fears, mistakes, failures, and i wouldn’t have it any other way. See when all things around me move to places i’d never thought they’d go he shows me stability and joy in the midst of pain. A lot can happen, a lot is happening and I’m faced with a choice Fear? or Faith?

God is my shelter in the storm, my refuge in the tremors, and when all is about to explode he is my shield. In him there may be hurt but he has a cure…..so now all i can do is wait, can’t run so it’s time to bunker down, do my part, and pray it all comes to pass as I hope for. If it doesn’t he’ll show me the way….In the midst…….I am SAFE!!

When moved by the Spirit…

Sometimes you just gotta sing 🙂 So I wrote a remix to Akon- Sorry, Blame it on me!! Enjoy the lyrics or find the song on my facebook!!

(verse 1)

I’m sorry that I wasn’t what you thought I was

I’m sorry that I didn’t work for your cause

I’m sorry that I didn’t go show the way

Im sorry that I just focused on me

Im sorry I got lost in myself

Im sorry that I put you on the shelf

And you were just wishin time with me

But I wouldn’t drop down to my knees

Im sorry that I got way to busy

Im sorry that I missed you on that street

I know you were just trying to seek me

And I was to blind to stop and see

Im sorry I didn’t stop and clothe you than

Im sorry I let you thirst again

If I could go back in time you see

I would make You my priority

(Chorus)

I understand that there are some problems
And I am not too blind to know
All the pain you kept inside you
Even though you might not show
If I can’t apologize for being wrong
Then it’s just a shame on me
I’ll be the reason for your pain and you can put the blame on me
You can put the blame on me [4x]
Said you can put the blame on me [3x]
You can put the blame on me

(verse 2)

Im sorry that I took the apple from the tree

And adding to all your pain and grief

Im sorry that the whip had to crack so bad

Im sorry that I didn’t love you dad

Im sorry that I got lost on my own

Im sorry that stepped away from your throne

I know that is where I was supposed to be

Because I have seen all the suffering

I only wish that  I could go back

So you wouldn’t have to feel that lash

I know I have done these things all wrong

Im sorry for what I do when I’m all alone

I know it hurts you when I fail

But I cant think but for myself

I only wish to admit my crimes

So I can give you back all those times

(Chorus)

I understand that there are some problems
And I am not too blind to know
All the pain you kept inside you
Even though you might not show
If I can’t apologize for being wrong
Then it’s just a shame on me
I’ll be the reason for your pain and you can put the blame on me
You can put the blame on me [4x]
Said you can put the blame on me [3x]
You can put the blame on me

Im sorry you ever felt alone

But know I was watching from my throne

Im sorry I had to move you from a life with me

That’s why I sent my son for thee

All I want is a life with you

Because I know what you’ve been through

I just wish to take all that grief

So come on and spend time with me

Just know that what was done was done for you

All those things my son went through

Was so you could find freedom in him

And all I would ask is you rapent

See the price was paid in full

And No debt remains on you

Im sorry for all the things you went through

But know that I will come to meet you soon