I want to remind you that the church is not a building that human beings build; it is the living body of Christ! It is comprised of people who are willing to die to themselves and to be raised to new life and to live as an expression of the redeeming love and grace of Jesus on planet earth!...
The cross; it's what focuses everything. If we took the cross out of the Jesus story, there is no Jesus story! Instead you've got some altruistic leader who had some things to say about reality, but reality nailed Him and He loses, and we still die! So if you find that inspiring, ok, I'm going...
I know that this life is hard, it's hard for everybody and when the people around us hurt, it makes life hard. There are times when things are so hard that we just give up the fight, and in these turning point moments, we make the decision, "Is there really a God that I can trust or is life...
In your own stuckness, if you choose to live by what you see instead of what God has said, you're going to be able to name all the reasons why life is bad, and why life is unfair, why failure is inevitable, why God 'must' be against you, and why there's no reason to hope or even try. In...
We cannot listen to God and listen to our own hearts and fear at the same time. Our hearts will ultimately be captured by a single focus that will either be the glory of God and the mission of Jesus or ourselves and how we feel and what we think.God speaks; He is not a silent God. He has given...
My whole life is about being stuck, when I grew up, I was stuck in an alcoholic family. I carried the 'stuck-ness' with me throughout a lot of life. Being poor, you're kind of stuck when you're poor and I could go on, but I want to share with you that being stuck is not a matter of...
1 John 5:4 says, "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith." When you come to a place of accepting and following Jesus from the outside in, and yielding control, then Jesus is in you and you have the power of...
We have to see the sacred in a world that sees nothing as sacred. We have to see the sacred in a world that measures people in terms of utility, beauty, power, strength and wealth. We gotta say "to hell with all of that" and from Heaven comes a whole new way of seeing life and seeing people!To...
Psalm 16:11 says, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." What our hearts and souls long for, is to know the joy and peace of connection to our creator. That’s what this life is for! You and I have...
People are always comparing themselves to each other. Why would someone who has discovered their worth ever live from insecurity? We are infinitely valued and loved by God. There is no need for you to establish your worth in front of other people! You are worth the blood of His only son! It is...
The brokenness of our lives, in the hands of our savior, is sea glass that God shines through to reveal His love, beauty and truth to others. But if we will not yield our lives, if we quit and walk away, then not only do we lose, but others don't get to see the beauty of God's hand on life.
Here's what Hannah Martin wrote about sea glass:
Jesus came to lead us out of a dead and dying world into an everlasting Kingdom! The bridge to this new world is the cross and the simple reality is that entering the new means leaving the old! We're called to give up our own "world building" and the portrait of how we think life should be --we can't live in two worlds!
To gain a life that is eternal, you have to give up a world. You have to give up the world you imagined and the broken world that you desire. There are two portraits of a broken world. One is the view that you really don't see as a broken world. It's the idea that if I could only have...then I'd really be happy and you think that getting enough of it is going to satisfy you. This is the lie of hell that says you can actually be happy in a dying world. This is the side where you don't even know that the ship is sinking.
The other side is where you know the ship is sinking. You know that the world is broken. The question is, will you give it up?
It's realizing that there's nothing there. It's kind of like that experience in getting what you want and then realizing you didn't want what you got! This is a place of laying down the old that is broken and trading it for a new world! It's walking through the illusion that this world can satisfy and realizing that it can't and that I have to lay it down.
The bridge to the new world is the cross. Entering the new means leaving the old and if we won't reject the old, it's because we've rejected the cross. There are far too few of us who are living lives that are cross carrying. And there are far too many of us who are trying to live with one foot in both worlds --and it doesn't work!
1 Corinthians 1:18 says, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
Guys, the difference is dying! The difference between the life you're looking for and the life of dissatisfaction that you may have is dying to yourself! The difference between getting over your procrastination and accomplishing the things you know God has called you to is dying to yourself! The difference between a life of fear and self hatred is dying to the fear and self hatred!
The difference is dying and I want to call you today to joyfully trade a world --for a life!
Trade this world and all of its ideas of it satisfying you for the eternal life that Jesus can give. Let Jesus Christ be your life builder. Let Him be your world giver. It's going to be hard, it's going to be incredibly hard! It's going to go soul deep, but this is the call of the Christian life because the centerpiece of Jesus' life is a cross and a resurrection!
Everyone wants a resurrection without a crucifixion but where there is no cross, there is no Jesus! -Dr. Drew Shofner
November is National Adoption Month.
My wife and I have felt a calling towards adoption for some time and it finally came to fruition about a year and a half ago. We had two foster children, who are biological brother and sister placed in our home and this past summer we finalized their adoption. That means that at the moment we have four children (two biological: 1yr old & 6yrs old and two adopted: 9yrs old & 16yrs old) in our family.
This past year has been a roller coaster and if you would have caught me on a bad day, you might walk away from our interaction confident that you aren’t called to adopt. So why did we adopt? Why should anyone consider adoption? For me, it goes back to my own adoption.
I know that I am a sinner. Of all the things that scripture teaches me, the fact that I am a sinner is near the top of the list. Because of sin, I was hopelessly lost, separated from God with no ability on my own to get right with Him. I was outside of God’s family, an orphan with no father. The Bible describes this condition as being enslaved to sin. My condition meant that I desperately needed a redeemer, a father who would take me in and love me as his own.
That redeemer is Jesus Christ. Because of what Jesus did for me on the cross, my sins are forgiven. When I was forgiven through the grace of Jesus Christ, the Bible says that I was adopted into his family. When I was in sin, I was separated, I was alone, I was an orphan. But in Christ, I am adopted into God’s eternal family.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba! Father! (Romans 8:15)
Again, Paul says that God sent his son to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons… “So you are no longer a slave, but a son…” (Galatians 4:5,7)
In both of these passages Paul shows us that there are only two conditions — we are either slaves or we are adopted children. We either have the spirit of slavery and fear, or we have the spirit of adoption.
Our adoption is what brings us into God’s family. It is a spiritual reality, a spiritual change of condition that takes place when we are saved. But physical adoption is something that is desperately needed in our community and around our world. We need Christian men and women who are willing to model Christ’s love for us and give that love to children in need.
Why did my wife and I choose to adopt? I believe that adoption is central to the gospel. Christ adopts us when we are separated from him. I believe the church can show the love that God has for us by adopting children in need. When we show children that we are willing to be their earthly redeemer, they become open to the idea that they have a heavenly redeemer.
When we considered what Christ has done for us, we felt there was no clearer picture of the gospel than to adopt children who need a family. We chose to open our family, open our home, and open our hearts to these children. We chose to take them in and freely give them the gift of being a part of our family. We took the orphans and made them sons and daughters.
There are over 400,000 foster children in the United States. There are millions of orphans around the world who need loving families. I believe the church can be the leader in helping these children find their place in a home and family that will love and care for them. Since Christ died for my adoption, I feel called and compelled to show that love and do it for others.
1 Corinthians 1:18 says, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." This message that love could be love in the pain. That love could be love in the struggle. That love has to die and hurt -is the story of the cross for Jesus.
We know that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son (John 3:16). We know that love was crucified and suffered on the cross. But the message of the cross that we love, is that it's not just Jesus who must suffer and still love -it's us!
There is nothing wrong with you that you're experiencing what you're experiencing, because a God who is good has a purpose in the pain that He allows! This is the promise of scripture that "In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28
I'm just telling you, this completely reinterprets the pain of our lives when we begin to understand that God loves the work of His hammer. He trusts the heat of His forge. He knows the power of His hand to shape something that in the end is good and strong and right and true!
We are small and wrong for resenting this process, and so when God seems gone, remember the word 'seems.' Champions for Christ don't quit on God even when the reasons seem good. In the good of God, the pain He brings serves a purpose He loves! -Dr. Drew Shofner