Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pushing Onward

This is going to be a short one :)

Looking forward into 2013, I see opportunity. A chance to make a difference for Jesus. When we think about this upcoming year. Let's forget the thoughts of, "What will this year bring ME?" and focus on, "What can I do this year for HIM?" This life is not about us. Do everything possible to reach those in need while there is still time. You never know what day could be your last.



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

When Bad Things Happen

Human beings like to point fingers. Especially when something horrible happens. After an earthquake, mass shooting, car accident, stock market crash, or anything else difficult; people tend to place blame. “It’s God’s fault.” “It’s because we need better gun control.” “The doctor made a mistake.” So many excuses, rationalizations, arguments. The truth is, none of those are true. The fault lies in us. Yes. Each and every one of us. It’s because we are sinful, horrible human beings. To the core. Everybody sins (Romans 3:23). Sin is the root of all evil. Evil is the father of tragedies.

Well, isn’t God in control? Shouldn’t He stop bad things from happening? God can do anything, absolutely. He knows all, He is all powerful. All day, every day. He also wanted humans to be individuals, not robots, and gave us freedom, the freedom to choose. We chose the path of sin.

We want it all—to live in a world of perfect peace and harmony, but still live in lust and lies. It just doesn’t work like that. The more sin that is in the world, the firmer Satan’s grip on it. The thing is, we hate the idea of God taking away our freedom of choice (John 3:19). So what is it that we want? Pleasure or peace? Tough one.

I mean, there is a way to get both, but not in this lifetime. Trusting Jesus as the Lord of your life, accepting his grace and mercy is the only way to get it all. You’ll still be a sinner. Every day. But Jesus’ sacrifice will wipe your slate clear and allow you to experience the perfect peace that is in Heaven. Bad things will still happen (on Earth) but you will have a guide showing you the path to glory (Isaiah 30:20-21 & 2 Corinthians 4:17).

God is so holy and pure, he cannot be in the presence of the kind of inherent evil we, as human beings, possess. And to God, sin is sin—whether it's murder or a "white" lie. That’s why he sent his perfect Son to die a painful, tortured death as a sacrifice for every single thing you and I have ever done wrong. We might not understand God’s wisdom, but He is truly good (Job 35:26). We might not be able to stop sinning, but he sacrificed it all to save us from what we deserve (Romans 5:8).


Sunday, December 9, 2012

A New Holiday Outlook

I have a hard time with holidays. I love all of the lights, decorations, and festivities. But I have a hard time finding joy in them. Not because I'm some sort of a Grinch. I just miss my family like crazy. November and December these past few years have been darkened with pity parties rather than cheerful celebration. An empty ache of loneliness creeping inside of my chest, building up until it bursts forth into a full-blown sobfest.

The thing is, holidays, especially the Christmas Season? Not about me, believe it or not. I know, I know. Hard to grasp. News flash! Christmas. Is. About. JESUS. Woah! Who knew? It's not about gifts, it's not about carols, it's not even about family. It's supposed to be about the birth of our Lord and Savior. The human birth of the only One able to save the world from sin (like my selfishness). I should be out sharing the news with the world! Not wallowing in self pity, eating copious amounts of junk food, and watching sad movies.

The craziest part is, that empty feeling of loneliness I hold so dear to my heart during the holidays? Not nearly as horrible as the ache of a lost soul reaching out for someone to save them. There are so many hurting people out there, looking for answers. Filling up their lives with work, drinking, sports, sex, television, drugs, whatever it is that they are making the lord of their lives, but still not feeling whole. I would rather spend a lifetime of lonely Christmases than go back to a time when I didn't have the peace and love that Jesus provides.

So this Christmas, I ask that you take a moment and ask God, "What can I do for YOU this year?" I'm not saying you should quit all of the wonderful traditions that make this holiday a joyful season for you. I'm merely suggesting that we, as Christians, live a little more like Christ, and think a little less about ourselves.

If the empty ache of loneliness is touching your life, if you're searching for the only One who can bring you true peace and joy; I have good news. There is Someone who can fill that void. And there are a bunch of great places to tell you about Him. Churches in the next few weeks will be having extra services to accompany the holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus. Check one out. If you're in Billings, my church rocks socks and will be having services at 10a.m. Sunday the 16th and at 4p.m. Monday the 24th at West High. You should check one out. It could certainly change your life! :)