Archive for the ‘salvation’ Category

It seems that in Christian culture there are more doctrines than denominations, and the denominations outweigh the people to fill them.
This is troubling to me.
Who is right? Who is mistaking  honest obedience with blatant sin?
“Whos cheatin who? Whos staying true? Who dont even care any more?”

My Sister is 15, and though we both have an intimate relationship with our mother, we both view her very differently.
My sister is characterized by this: She gets caught up with the petty dramas of this world, she’s often cold and not relational, she finds confidence and self worth in her peers, and she’s more concerned about whats cool than whats right, she loves to argue, detached in revealing her thoughts and feelings.
I, on the other hand: am extremely relational, my love language is tough, I seek after righteousness, get in trouble very little, i need to know that my parents are proud of me, i share my thought processes and seek guidance, ect.

I see my mother as more of a companion, while my sister sees her as more of the care giver, and disciplinary.
That is simply because we are at different stages in life. If we were both asked to  describe the same woman, we would describe her very differently. Would all the things be true? Yes
While my sister may say she is very strict. I would argue that she is lenient. Both of these are true.

So what about God? God is a God of complete sovereignty as we orchestrates the story of humanity for His glory and pleasure. God also allows us to have responsibility, to either fulfill or deny.
I fully believe that these juxtaposed ideas can coexsist. Like parallel lines that go on together, and never meet a point of conclusion- Gods power, and Gods allowance cannot satisfy one another, but are both vital to the Christian beliefs.
I believe that though many doctrines do not compliment one another in emphasis, they do depict a small aspect of Gods vast and round character.

We earth dwellers will never witness the other side of the moon as long as we live on the earth, but we cant agrue that it doesnt exsist. You may never witness an aspect of God, but you cannot argue that it doesn’t exist.
I myself feel that i have only acutely witnessed the wrath of God, if at all. But God is a God of wrath.
Those who don’t believe in God, have never excepted Gods kindness. But God is a God of great Kindness in love.

Doctrine is necessary. But not essential. The blood of Christ is essential.
So speak truth in love. Let iron sharpen iron. Allow your concept of God widen as the spirit reveals truth and Gods word confirms it. Know God.
But above everything else- trust in the redemptive work that took place on the cross, because beyond that, all doctrines fail.


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Life is but threshold
Death is but a door
Concealing the greatest awakening
The quench for something more.
Yet every tongue in every land,
Sounds their battle cry.
Through the tears that sting their eyes,
We say “There must be more to life!”
But the eyes companion to frustration,
Are blinded from the truth.
When the whole earth is filled with Glory,
Creation points to you.
Within our hearts is your law
Engraved is “eternity”
Before our feet is your throne
The cross that sets us free.
Yet we wander and scour the earth
For meaning, purpose, and truth
Never turning to what’s in front of us
We’ve turned our hearts from you.
“Oh my God” is no longer the gate of salvation
But a term of putrid vanity
And science has become the study
Of new age theology.
Relativism has become truth,
As it applies to the flesh of man.
Choice is what determines our life,
And what kills our fellow man.
Oh wretched sinners!
How we lost our way.
How evil are even the ones
Who dare to bare your name.
And we who have been made with Christ
Still have turned away from you
Have defiled your holy temple,
The body bought by you.
We who claim to be vessels of Christ
Carry our Christ to bed
With those who have defiled our souls
Who’s steps will lead to death.
And the mouths that join together
To sing praises to your name
Leave the building we’ve labeled “the church”
And quickly utter what’s profane.
Because life has been made a journey of taste
Lead by whimsical cravings of tongue.
Christ is only to be followed
When he gives you what you want.
Away with rules and restrictions
Give us instant gratification.
Away with what guides and protects
Our desolate souls cry for damnation.

If you who are chosen hold your tongue
The rocks of the earth will sing.
Oh God have your way with us!
We have not chosen you!
My God have your way with those you love
We need to love you too.
The wrath that your grace has withheld
Soon will be set free
For you, Oh God, are Righteous and Just
You alone are King.
Do with us as you will
To turn our hearts back to you.
May your Glory be fulfilled
In what is your plan to do.
Tear down the idols that defile your name
Tear down what man has made.
My soul is grieved with longing
I stand lonesome and unashamed
For the world to know the Glory
The Glory in your name.
Let those who bear a witness
Gather together to call on you
Let those who truly seek your face
Be ambassadors of the truth.
May we join in numbers,
May we speak the truth
Singing a jubilant song
Sharing the joy we find in you.
Let us be persecuted in your name
For gospel sake
Let us face trials of many kinds
To bring your Glory Fame
Let the blood that was shed on the cross
Incarnadine the earth,
Come what may let us see
A revival a rebirth!

You alone are God
For you alone are God.
One day every knee will bow
For you alone, Our God.

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I was blessed enough to lead a someone to Christ tonight.

It was so exciting, and beautiful to watch her as she began to understand what Christ has done for her.

The gift of salvation is so precious, and one I often take for granted.

Tonight was a wonderful reminder of the unimaginable goodness of Christ and His love for His bride.

What does the gift of salvation mean to you in your life?
How does it motivate you?

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<sigh> I’m exhausted.

I have just spent the last few hours witnessing to a Muslim girl. She is standing at the door of salvation and there’s a holy warfare is going on in her mind.
And as I sit with her and watch her angst as she sorts truths and thought and teachings… I cant help but have my own battle of flesh.

I want to win her for Christ so badly. What a victory it would be to see her reach a state of peace.
But I cant do it… it is only the Holy spirit that works through me. And it is so hard to sit, to watch, to pray, when I so badly want to pull her over to a side of understanding.

Its like trying to help a blind person find a light switch.
God knows I want to do save her so badly, I’m willing to give up my earthly life for her eternal. Its my greatest passion to witness to the gospel. If she would receive the words of Christ and let them breath life into her.

I have nothing profound to say.
I have no conclusion.
I just pray that Gods will be done and that my will is likewise.


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Hey Everyone.

I want your imput on this.
Who is Jesus Christ to you?

Its both a simple and hard question to answer. But its crucial.

John 14:6
“… “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also…”

This verse makes it clear that in order to know the father, you must know the son. The son is the only way to get to the father.  If Jesus Christ is the only path to salvation, we must clearly know who he is.

Matthew 16:15-16

 “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Mormons believe that Jesus was a man who became god. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet. Countless others believe that he was only a good man.

Here is the question again:
Who do you say that he is?

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

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I love Austin. My friends and I took a road trip down there this weekend for my birthday. It was wonderful. I love the sense of family and community they have, and the emphasis on social involvement. I also loved that in the morning I was able to jog down to Starbucks. God is good! 
      Austin is a potpourri of miscellaneous ideas, beliefs and convictions, and the closer you come to the capital, the more these beliefs stimulate activists. The church of scientology was conducting a free IQ test (yes free… I was also shocked) and handing out pamphlets. An array of political slogans decorated t-shirts and car windows, ranging from “Obama 08” and “Vote Hilary- Because Women Should Be On Top!” to “Down With The Government!-Save our children from Iraq.” I didn’t see much on the conservative beliefs other than “Conserve Water” and “Go green!” On the back steps of the capital building there was a group of angry teenage girls rallying to a  handful of people, “We’re Queer and We’re here!” as they went on to tell there sad stories of ill treatment. I was very tempted to reply “I’m Straight and it’s Great!”… but yea for self control and the fear of being beaten.
       Being nurtured in the buckle of the Bible belt, this was a thrilling experience for me. It always is because God has given me a heart for the lost and the very confused. So when we stopped for lunch in a small restaurant, I was neither disappointed nor surprised to find that the fryer of my meal was stoned and the cashier was gay. God bless Texas. As I ordered a grilled chicken pita (very delicious) and some gift cards for the homeless people on the streets, I was able to strike up a conversation with the cashier leading to the my first witnessing pin point phrase:
“What do you believe?”
The cashier’s eyes grew wide with disbelief and he jumped over the counter hurling accusations that I was forcing my religion on him- false. That didn’t happen. In fact he was quite a large man and I don’t think he would be able to roll over the counter, much less jump. He gave the typical response- he was more than happy to share is ideas on religion and theology and about how everyone should find the best way for them.
I think I would have been more pleased if he had jumped over the counter. If what they say is true and there is a first time for everything-I’m going to keep talking about Jesus until it happens.

But this leads me to say- if you are a Christian who is afraid to share your beliefs, your missing out on some very interesting conversations.  All you have to do is ask someone what they believe and reason truth- it’s not your job to save them so there is no pressure. But you can open the door for God to use you and submit yourself to being a fisher of men. Just don’t stand on benches screaming “Turn or Burn you evil doers!” or harass people in the malls. You will save a lot of people… from having a pleasant day.

So anyway- The cashier asked me if I had read the Divinci Code. I haven’t, but I was able to draw out on my receipt how the table for Passover was set up Jewish culture and how it contradicted the artistic license that Davinci took in his depiction of the last supper. We talked for a moment on that which lead me to my second key question.
“Who do you think Jesus was?”
“He was a great man,” the cashier explained that it was because he led people to lead good lives.
“I have to disagree.” I began.
If your right, and Jesus was a man… he was possibly the worst man who ever lived.”
<Dramatic pause for a eye widening and thought sinking.>
“If Jesus Christ was a man, he was a lying, deceiving manipulator whose false influence still lives on today. He taught that he was the son of God, he taught that the road to salvation was narrow and that he was the only way to heaven. 
“I am the way the truth and the light no one comes to the father except through me.”

You could tell that this was a hard thought for him. He didn’t want to believe that Christ was God, he wanted to believe that he was a good man…

but there is no possible way that Jesus was a good man.







“In fact,” I went on I would even say that Christ was worse than Hitler.” This statement peaked interest. Hitler= a hot topic.

You see, Hitler and Jesus are the two most famous historical figures that ever lived. Yet no one seems to be able to make a connection between who they see as love-and-peace, sandal wearing hippie and this evil man of destruction. But they were both wonderful and powerful speakers. Only one spoke life into people, while the other one spoke death.

Me and Mr. Cashier talked about Hitler for a while, and I drew up this connection:
People followed Hitler because they believed that they could deliver them from a depression 3 times greater than the Great Depression of America, and they believed that he would raise up a great army… and he did. They blindly followed him and caused many people to die innocent deaths.
People followed Christ because they believed that he would deliver them from the control of the Roman empire, they believed that he would raise up a great army… but He didn’t. He died on the Cross as a failure to his expectations. But those who realized his true purpose were willing to die innocent deaths to defend it.
In the Laws of History, people follows masters and conquers. But Jesus Christ was an broke all the rules He was a servent and humble. But what He alone did was greater and more powerful than an army of men that number the stars in the sky, he sacrificed his life, overcame death, so others could live.

Jesus couldn’t be a man, because no one would follow him because in the realm of humanity, he was a failure. Jesus has to God, because he did what no man could ever do: gave up himself in death for an everlasting Victory.
Are you under the blood? 

If anything the cashier was more intrigued and more confused about this Jesus who broke the laws of humanity. About that time my pita was ready to be devoured, and he thanked me for my history lesson.
I thanked him for listening and said my last Key phrase.

“I pray that you search for the truth and that you find the truth.”
“Ive already found what works for me”
“I didnt say “what works” I said “truth.””

The pita was delicious… but they put way to much olive oil.

I probably shouldn’t do this… This post is much to long for people to take the time to read. But if there are some one out there who has taken the time…
What do you think? (About anything written) 
Could Jesus be just a man? Why/Why not?
Give me a history reference if you’d like.
How do you witness to people in a world of relativism that’s absent of absolute truth?

My stats are huge but my comments are small. Little help here.



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This weekend I had the privilege to be a leader at a weekend youth conference. I still am sleep deprived, I have yet been able to remove the grime from my fingernails, and if I listen quietly the sound of children calling my name is still ringing in my ears. I had a wonderful time.

At one point in the weekend a group of kids went to go play dodgeball. After a while, I found a 3 7th grade boys sitting off  to the side in defeat and asked them why they weren’t playing. One boy turned to look at me revealing his red, ball-stung face, and preceded to tell me the horror story about how his face was rearranged to a pulp the rubber projectiles of the high school boys.

“Then lets go on an adventure.”  They boys sprang up in acceptance to the special invitation and we proceeded to go on the greatest human adventure encountered by man… we went and stood on a deck throwing rocks into a river.

“Do you remember what the speaker talked about today?” The kids bounced there heads in response, jolting sediment into the water. That morning, our group speaker had told the story of Rahab. A prostitute that was the most unlikely to receive deliverance because of her sin, yet her eagerness to do what Joshua had said by tying a scarlett thread to her window saved her and her household.

I went on to explain the significance of the “Scarlett” thread; the meaning of atonement. I went into the gory details of the Levitical sacrifices and proceeded to explain why it was necessary for the blood of Christ to be shed. They remained quiet, except to make comments about the gore of the animal sacrifices. I wondered if anything I said made any difference. I explained it in a way they would understand, but did the Holy spirit move? Did my words fall on deaf ears? As we walked back to our cabin, this verse came to mind:

   “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
   and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
   it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
   and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
                                      -Isaiah 55:10-11

That night while the speaker was talking he asked a question to the group about Judgment day, and what will be required for God to see us as his children when we stand before him.

For a moment no one raised there hand.

Then the hand of one of the boys I has spoken to earlier appeared above the silent heads. The speaker called on him not knowing what to expect. The boy wasn’t a christian, he wasn’t one to speak unless he made a joke, and he always found himself in trouble. But his answer heads turn all around him.

“Atonement.” He began, “God has to look at us and see the blood of his Son Jesus, because thats the only thing that can cover our sin.” 

It may have been the honest humility in his voice, or the fact that the speaker had yet to explain atonement, or maybe it was because he had little understanding at all of what the bible teaches.  But this boy who had little experience in church, not only heard the words that I had spoken earlier but was able to understand it in the context of his salvation; chills shivered down my spine.
This weekend he asked Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of his life and is being baptised in May.

So many times I feel in my ministry that my words fall to the ground in vain. But God is faithful.

Don’t be discouraged when you feel that you have no impact, because you alone can do nothing outside the will of Christ and by the movement of the Holy Spirit.
Dont feel like God cant use you because He can. Dedicate your mouth to the word of God.
He is so faithful.

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