You are the Salt of the Earth.

Salt and Light

We can’t find our identity in this world. My identity is not as a white man. Your identity can’t be as a black man or a white man. Your identity can’t be based on your socio-economic class or your knowledge, your power, your ability, or your presence. Your identity is based on Jesus. That you are His and that you have bought into the light that has come into the world and that every day you live to share the light. Jesus said "You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?" Salt has two primary functions; it is a seasoning and a preservative. For centuries during Jesus' time, salt was worth more than gold; pound for pound. 

There is no reason for any of us to live confused about our identity. There is no reason for any of us to live in darkness, or down on ourselves, or having a lesser view of who God made us to be. We are a preservative and our actions and our lives can literally save situations and turn life around. It can keep marriages from falling apart, it can take children who are on a crash course and give them a new direction; it can change life! But here's the deal, salt has to be in contact for it to have any affect as a preservative or seasoning. You can't take salt and keep it in a shaker; and that's really where it is in the modern church. 

In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.” The reason why the cross is such core theology is because everything old ends on the cross. When you and I bear a cross, we die to our world based identity and we receive a new life. Jesus said in John 10:10I came that you might have life and that you might have it to the fullest." That ‘full life’ is living with a purpose; helping other people find their purpose! Jesus doesn't take those who are expected and those who are trained and who are all educated, Jesus takes the people He chooses and He gives them a completely new identity.

In the name of Jesus, I want to call you out of small living. I want to call you to offer God your most beautiful interpretation of what it means to be salt and light. There are too many of you looking in the mirror thinking, I got nothing, I am nothing; that is a lie from hell. You are the light of the world…You are! Not earn it, will be, might be, could be…no! You are the salt of the earth; you are the city on the hill! In the name of Jesus, will you start living large? Will you find your identity in your call in Christ? -Dr. Drew Shofner
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Run Your Race!

Hebrews 12

There are two approaches to a spiritual life; passive or active. Most of us take a passive approach to our spiritual journey and we just kind of assume that it will happen. Can I just say how crazy that is! What “just happens” that is good in your life all on its own?

How good does your yard look with a passive approach? If you can’t grow a garden by pulling up a chair and watching dirt, then how in the world do you think you can have a life of spiritual growth by being passive and doing nothing; waiting for it to happen?

Do you know what you are going to get with dirt if you just wait for stuff to happen? WEEDS! Do you know what you’re going to get in your own spiritual life if you just wait for stuff to happen? 

This is true in all areas of life; everything takes effort, action and intention. If we just did what we felt like doing, how many of you would go to work every day? I mean, it seems like all of life takes work doesn’t it? If it’s true that everything in life takes intentionality; from tying your shoes, to going to school, to being a faithful husband, or a God-honoring wife, then those things take choices that are deep from the heart; and it’s work!

The things that you are not proud of in life are the things that were easy and the things that you are the most proud of, in the best sense of the word, are the things that took effort and intentionality and were a courageous choice!

I want to challenge you today to choose to actively approach your spiritual life in such a way that you bring glory to God by actively living out of an obedience that is aggressive, faithful and responsible. The word responsible means able to respond! My prayer is that we would hear God speak to us in a way that will transform life forever.

God has spoken into us this truth that life is to be a day by day experience; a journey of growth. Your story is to be an upward story, not a downward spiral! Your story is not to be a story of increasing brokenness, addiction, or despair. Your story is not to be a story of decrease; it is to be a story of increase. We are running a race that ends in Glory! Do you realize that? Now you have to step back and think, “How will I run it?” –Dr. Drew Shofner

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It just makes sense to read the map before you start the journey.

it just makes sense to read the map before you start the journey

Most of us are living in the default of life in our own understanding, in our own processing and in our own conclusion; and when we do that, we miss daily life in the presence of God. Psalm 67 says “You have made known to me the path of life.” It’s not an instant; just add water kind of a journey. It’s not a magic wand; it’s a path that you walk. It’s a journey that we have to make, it’s something that we have to do daily, so that we walk this path and we end up in the presence of God here with Christ; it’s a choice!

Every word of Jesus is a brilliant work of pushing back the darkness and opening up the light of God to us. Our God is a revealing God who’s at work all the time in all of life to reveal Himself to you. He’s always speaking, the question is, are we listening? And most of the time the answer is no. We’re simply not listening. But when we open our ears and we begin to listen, we see all this stuff that appears so random and disconnected, isn’t so random and isn’t so disconnected. The word of God is actively at work to push back the deceit of darkness and deception in your life, and in my life. The word of God is active to penetrate your defenses and your shields to get through to you to help you see that the only sane move in life is following Jesus. 

I’m asking you to make a defining decision, where you live by what the Word of God says and declares in life. That you read it, trusting God, that He will speak to you like a loving father to a beloved child and He will guide you and He will give you His promises for everything that you face and everything that you need; that His promises will be enough. I’m asking you to make a definitive choice to walk the path of the promise so that you can experience an abundant life in God’s presence here and now. I pray that every day you reach for the Holy word of God and you read it! Don’t buy the lies that you have to be some sort of bible scholar to do this. You don’t have to be a PHD or anything, you just have to be a child of God.

Jesus said, anyone who comes into my kingdom, can’t be like these other religious leaders with all their robes and titles and power, you’ve got to become like a little child (Matthew 18:3). You have to approach God with the trust to say “Abba, Daddy, whatever you say, I believe it!” So, don’t buy the lie that God All Mighty isn’t eager, everyday that you wake up, to speak truth and freedom and grace and hope and wisdom into your life; He is!

If you will read the Word, if you will enter into His promises, you will have peace, your life will be transformed; it will be lifted. Will you walk the path? Will you take those steps to make the promises of God more real and more relevant in your life than what you feel, what you fear or what you think? Father, in Jesus’ name I’m asking that your Holy Spirit would just stir our hearts and that we would make definitive decisions to get off the path of default, living in our own understanding, and that we would get on the path of consciously seeking out and living in your promises. I pray that you would give us the courage to pick up your Word and search for the promises that answer the pain.

Take the word of God, read it on a daily basis. Find some time during the day to set aside for just you and the Lord. Fill your mind with the Word of God and the Spirit of God will be in control of your day. The beginning of the day is always the best. I mean it just makes sense to read the map before you start the journey doesn't it? -Dr. Drew Shofner

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For God has not given us a spirit of fear.

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear

Our thinking matters more than anything. What goes on between your left ear and your right ear is your life! Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” You and I don’t have to do anything to be toxic, we already are. I don’t have to work at thinking negatively, it comes naturally; all sin does. We live in a world that is toxic because it is a world that is Godless, and one of the big lies of the world is that it thinks that it can live without radical dependence on the Lord.

If you think enough about this world, it can just paralyze you, but when you fix your thoughts on God, and when you interpret life in light of God’s Word, and speak about life in ways that God spoke about life; it just changes life, and life looks very differently. A lot of us are living weak and enslaved lives because we are longing for a power we don’t have and are not using the power we do have. We want the magic to change the world around us, when God has given us the power to change the world within us!

When you live from your feelings, (how you feel about yourself, your future, other people) you’re going to live a toxic life. A lot of us are forfeiting the game of our life because we’re not willing to live in the responsibility of self discipline. As disciples of Jesus, we don’t stand on our opinions and our interpretations, but we live in the clearly revealed Word of God. This becomes the way we think, not in the toxic mess that we have grown used to.

The scripture says very clearly, in 1 Timothy 2:7that God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but He gave us the spirit of power and of love and of self discipline. When you use that power to choose your thoughts for God, your life changes. So many of us are living “feeling” driven lives; downward and undisciplined, but real disciples live life disciplining every thought to become a God thought. You don’t tolerate Godless thinking!

Now, you can’t control every thought that comes into your head. Thoughts are like an airplane buzzing the runway, but you’re the traffic controller, and you don’t have to let it land! You are responsible for the thoughts that you entertain and let live in your inner world. Never discount the power of a single thought, good or bad. It was a single thought in Hitler’s heart that led to the death of millions of people needlessly; a single thought of hate. And it was a single thought in God’s mind that led to salvation of the world in Jesus Christ.

If you and I choose to live “feeling” driven lives, we are going to live toxic lives that not only corrode our own souls, but impact negatively the people around us. Think carefully, don’t be sloppy in your thinking; which is why it’s so important to open the Word of God and fill your heart and mind with God thoughts. I want your disciple life to start in your inner world and as your inner world is changed, your outer world will be changed as well. Following Jesus as Lord, means disciplining your thoughts to become God thoughts; because you cannot be a disciple of Jesus without exercising discipline. 

Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32). So, the biblical way to deal with the mess we are in; is to deal with the truth of our feelings. “God, I feel hopeless, but I remember that you are the God of hope and I can do all things through you.”God, I feel hopeless, but I choose…"and then you fill in the blank with what is true about God. Jesus said this; “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He quoted Psalm 22. Why? Because that’s how He felt, He was being real; there is no fake in Jesus! “But nevertheless, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Your life is what it is because you think how you think and if you’ll change how you think, you’ll change your life! When you go through the day, you can be dragged down in so many ways, but when you choose to leave behind toxic thinking for the glory of God filled thinking; there is just this transforming that happens. 

Do you know who you are? You are the beloved children of God, you are the delight of Heaven; you are the price of Christ. You're everything to God, you are! You want to know how to make life work? Wrap your heart around the gift of Jesus and the love that God has for you and just dive into that. Let yourself become the child that you’re longing to be: accepted, embraced, wanted, valued and significant. It’s impossible to be discontent in the love of God anymore than it’s possible to be thirsty under Niagara Falls; it’s just not going to happen.

Live in confident prayer, whatever it is that is troubling you, whatever it is that is threatening to destroy you, don’t let those thoughts stay; you pray! Think up, not down. You don’t have to live a toxic life, but it all begins in exercising how you think. It all happens between the left ear and the right ear; never underestimate the power of a single thought; good or bad. –Dr. Drew Shofner

Live boldly for an audience of one!

Live boldly for an audience of one!

The simple truth is that all of us here, myself included, are most of the time more concerned with the approval of other human beings than we are with the one and true creator of the universe. You and I are so timid when it comes to telling the story of Jesus and helping people understand that they are loved. That they matter to God, that there is hope, that they are called out of a low life and into a high life with an eternal noble purpose; that their life has a fight and a savior that will embrace them forever! We have the greatest story there is, and yet we are all wrapped up in our consumer mentality, in our religious distance and safety, and we are all so concerned about appeasing people and it’s just wrong!

It's time for you and I to start living our lives boldly revealing the love of the Father through the life of the Son in the power of the Spirit. I'm calling you to be brave and show courage. I'm calling you to believe what you say you believe, and to live in a way that changes your world. You’re going to rise up, you’re going to step up and realize you weren’t called to just kind of slip through under the radar in this world. All of us are insecure and all of us are fearful, but you decide you’re not going to live small and in fear any longer. I'm not calling you to be a chameleon and blend in; I'm calling you to reveal Me!

So go and make disciples, and don't just do it with people that look like you, and live where you live. Go out of your way, bump into other people and as you do, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey everything (Matthew 28:19). Don't walk away from them if they are new in the faith, you teach them and you do life with them until they get it, and when they do, then they can share it with somebody else. That's the call of Jesus Christ!

If I have your approval, that is awesome, thank you. If I don't, that is awesome; and it's ok. Nothing matters more than Jesus' approval, and we have to make up our minds about whose approval we are living for. Faith resolves insecurity, and when you and I begin to believe in 'Christ in us,' we begin to live boldly for an audience of one! 

If you refuse to live up to the glory and the awesomeness of the image of God that you bear, that’s on you, but if you look in the mirror and you see someone who God loves so much that He died for you and you believe that you bear His image, and you believe that His son lives inside of you; then you start to live out your gift and your calling and you’re no longer under the radar, no longer embarrassed, no longer small, negative or lightless.

Every one of you is gifted. One of the things that breaks my heart is there are so many of you gifted people who are not using your gifts to be salt and light and the city on a hill, and we’re going to change that in the days to come; we’re coming after you! You have a high and noble purpose and that purpose isn’t to live for your own glory and your fame. You’re not here to make your name famous. You start living large for God, that’s your call! Not so that people can know your name; you live large for God so that people can know His! -Dr. Drew Shofner

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