The event that changed history forever


The night was silent. A shroud draped the garden like the weight of a heavy blanket. Slivers of moonlight peered through the trees and washed over the man kneeling. The heart inside His chest thumped like a drum, overcome with wrenching emotion. Drops of blood slowly trickled down His face as He looked up to pray.

“Father, there must be another way. I just can’t believe after everything I’ve done, this is how it’s all going to end. I haven’t done anything wrong. Please. Provide a different way.”

He stood to His feet and returned to the men He considered His closest friends and brothers. They had promised to stay awake and pray with their Teacher. They were all sleeping.

Jesus shook His head. “I should have known. Why are you guys sleeping? The time has come. Let’s go.”

They started to leave when suddenly the darkened night was flooded with the glow of flickering torches. A group of men approached Jesus and His disciples. He noticed Judas walking towards Him. There is the one who will betray me. I don’t know why I gave him the chance.

Judas walked up to Jesus and kissed Him on the cheek. “Greetings, Rabbi.”

“I can’t believe you’re doing this, Judas. After everything I’ve done for you, how could you betray me? And with a holy kiss? Unbelievable.”

As the soldiers reached out to arrest Jesus, Peter drew his sword and attacked. He swung blindly and struck one of the servants, cutting off his ear. The man cried out in agony and dropped to the ground. Jesus walked over and picked up the severed ear. “Your name is Malchus, right?”

The man nodded, his face clouded in pain.

“Why are you doing this? You know I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m an innocent man, and here you are to arrest me and shackle me in chains. Don’t you see how unfair this is? I could easily heal your ear, but you know what? I believe you need to think about what you’ve done. Let me know when you decide to change your ways, and we’ll talk about the ear.”

Jesus dropped the ear to the ground and raised His hands in surrender. The men began to punch Him in the face and stomach. They spit on Him as they placed Him in heavy chains. They brought Him before the Sanhedrin where He would be questioned.

One of the men looked at Jesus and sneered. “Tell us if you are indeed the Christ, the Son of God.”

Jesus nodded. “Of course I am. You know all the things I’ve done. How else could I have performed miracles, healed people, and raised anyone from the dead?”

The man slowly retreated and began to tear his robes. “Blasphemy. We don’t need any other witnesses. He has spoken blasphemy with his own mouth. What do the rest of you think?”

“He deserves death,” they shouted.

“Whoa, whoa. Wait a minute,” Jesus said. “Are you kidding me? Death? Don’t you think that’s a little extreme?”

Without another word, they took Jesus to stand before Pilate for sentencing. He was beaten, bloody, and hardly recognizable.

Pilate stared at Him. “Are you King of the Jews?”

“Yes,” Jesus answered. “This isn’t exactly how royalty should be treated, is it?”

“Do you hear all the things they are saying about you? Don’t you have anything to say for yourself?”

“I have done nothing wrong. I’m innocent and this is completely unfair. No one will listen, though. I’ve tried to tell them.”

Pilate stood before the crowd. “What shall I do with Jesus, Who is called the Christ?”

In unison, the crowd erupted into shouts of “Crucify him! Crucify him! Give us Barabbas!”

Jesus shook His head and cried out to the crowd. “Are you serious? You want Barabbas? He’s a murderer. I haven’t done anything wrong.”

“Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Pilate allowed the soldiers to beat Jesus with a whip constructed of bone fragments, glass, and pieces of rock. They tore away His flesh  with every strike. There wasn’t much left of a man once they had finished. They dragged Him from the courtyard and threw Him to the ground. Two soldiers walked over with a cross and forced Jesus to stand to His feet and begin to carry it.

With every labored step, Jesus was hit with sticks, punched in the face, and cursed. They started up Via Dolorosa, and Jesus reached His breaking point.

“That’s it. I’m done,” He said as the cross fell to the dusty ground. He looked up towards Heaven. “Father, I know this is what You want me to do, but I just can’t. These people don’t deserve anything but death. I am completely innocent, yet they are treating me like a common criminal. I mean, come on. They wanted to free Barabbas. Barabbas, the murderer. It’s ridiculous and not fair at all. All I ever did was help them. Don’t they realize who I am? I chose to lower myself to their human level, become a man, and walk in love. Look what it got me. They don’t appreciate anything I’ve done.”

The soldiers stared in disbelief. They looked at each other, unsure how to proceed.

Jesus walked down the path away from everyone else and raised His hands. “Okay, Father. Take me back up. I’m done. These people have hurt and abused me more than anyone should ever have to endure. I know what they are going to do. They are going to laugh in my face as they hammer rusty nails through my hands and feet. Do you really think there is any hope at all for these people? They don’t care about You, me, or righteousness. Let them figure it out on their own. I want nothing more to do with it. I don’t care if my blood, my sacrifice, would reconcile them back to You. They don’t deserve it. Let them see what Hell is all about.”

———————————————————————————————————————————

My eyes filled with tears as I finished writing this alternate version of what could have happened. Just think about where we would be right now had Jesus acted like us instead of love during those dark hours. He had every right to behave exactly how you just read. He was completely innocent, yet He knew what it meant to die on that tree. He could have easily ended up on some talk show as a victim. We are reconciled back to the Father because of love.

Jesus said to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Him. If we couldn’t walk through that same situation just as He did, what are we doing? Are we living for Him or only for ourselves?

We get so wrecked when people treat us wrong, lie to us, betray us, and try to hurt us. It’s time to give up all the rights we think we have and become love.

If we don’t see words or actions in the life of Jesus, they shouldn’t be in ours either.

What if Jesus meant what He said?


I wrote an article last year entitled What If. (Click HERE to read) It was one of those moments where I just kept asking the question over and over about a variety of things. It’s something that sparks inner dialog and even more questions. It makes you think. I know it did for me anyway.

I’ve been a Christian for quite some time now, but I haven’t truly known what that means until just in the last year or so. See, we’ve been taught so many things in churches, and unfortunately, many of those things are just plain wrong. It’s time to open our Bibles, get alone in the secret place with our Father, and allow the Holy Spirit to speak truth.

Something that baffles me is how easily we stake our belief system on what someone says. Or teaches. Or preaches. Before you light up the torches and fashion a stake, hear me out.

There is a place for teachers and preachers. No doubt about it. What scares me is when these people base their doctrine, or beliefs on what they’ve experienced or seen, and not on what Jesus said.

Hebrews 2:6-9 says (emphasis mine):

But one testified in a certain place, saying:

“What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?
You have made him a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
And set him over the works of Your hands.
You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” 

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

This is an amazing passage of scripture. 6,7,and 8 talk about how ALL things have been put into subjection under our feet by God. We are after all, man…mankind. That’s who he’s talking about here. When I read this, I think of praying for someone to get healed, taking authority over demonic spirits, and situations where we can’t see God working. These are areas where we might be easily shaken because immediate results are lacking.

We might pray for someone to rise out of a wheelchair and walk, and they don’t. That shouldn’t determine our belief system on healing. From that one experience, we can’t say healing isn’t for today. Why? Because the evidence we don’t see with our own eyes, doesn’t change the truth of God’s word. Jesus said one of the signs that follow believers is that they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. Hebrews says we might not see everything yet, but we see Jesus.

It’s a clear directive to keep our eyes on Christ no matter what we see or experience.

If we pray for someone, nothing happens, and we immediately feel like a failure, we have no faith at all. Faith is believing what Jesus said, praying for someone, and praising God no matter the outcome.

So many doctrines and beliefs come from human wisdom and experiences. It’s a tool used by the devil himself to deceive people.

I’m sure everyone on the planet knows who Brittany Maynard is by now. The 29 year old woman with terminal brain cancer who moved to Oregon so she could take advantage of the death with dignity act. This story is so sad to me. Let’s get something straight right off the bat. God came to give life, He doesn’t take it. Satan is here to kill, steal, and destroy. Cancer is straight from the pit of Hell, and it’s God’s will to heal people from the horrible disease. Jesus laid hands on people, and they were healed. If it wasn’t God’s will to heal, Jesus would have been going directly against His father. That just wouldn’t happen.

There is no such thing as terminal illness in the Kingdom. We’ve been given the same power that raised Christ from the dead. I believe 100% that Brittany could have been healed from that horrible disease. I’m not mentioning this as judgement towards her or her family at all. Not even close. It’s just an modern day example of whether we believe the words of Jesus or not. And there is no guarantee she would have even allowed a believer to pray for her. And that’s okay. Cancer is one of the largest, fear causing words in the English language. Fear isn’t of God. We don’t need to fear cancer. We need to believe we have power over it through our Savior.

And please don’t get me wrong. I’m not being insensitive to those who have lost loved ones from any kind of illness or disease. I am so very sorry for your loss.

The body of Christ needs to wake up and embrace the truth that we have power. God is the giver and creator of life. Satan is here to destroy us.

Mark 16:15-18:

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

What if Jesus meant what He said?

Love Never Fails


Earlier this year, I published a collection of 10, first-person perspective Bible stories entitled I Was There. (Click HERE to purchase) I had such a great response to the book that I decided to write another one. The proposed title for the new one is I Believe. I plan on publishing first of next year. I still have a couple more stories to write, and then the editing process. I wanted to give you a taste of what’s coming. This story is entitled Love Never Fails. It’s not the complete story, because that would be more than just a taste. Let me know what you think. (This is not the completely edited, polished manuscript, so please ignore any errors)

 

I wasn’t sure how the day was going to end, but there was a feeling deep inside my being that would not go away. Regret, mixed with dread, churned in my stomach and clawed at my conscience. I have done some things in my life that I am not proud of, but I may have gone too far this time. The addiction had rooted itself into such a level of my soul, that I feared its hold would never be broken. I felt so ashamed.

No one knew anything when we met to break bread together. The secret I carried in my heart would more than likely destroy many people. Some of whom were my closest friends. That fact alone caused me to hesitate, but unfortunately, the damage had already been done. The money burned like hot coals inside my cloak. Even though I loathed the very thought of what I had to do, my greed claimed a larger piece of my soul.

The men I had met with earlier knew my weakness. They devised a plan that would ensnare me and render me helpless to refuse their enticing offer. I always said that loyalty could never be compromised by gold or silver. Apparently, I was dreadfully wrong. They had purchased my services and would force me to hurt someone I truly loved. By the time we met that night, it was far too late to change my mind. They owned me, and they knew it.

I wasn’t sure what the others would say if they found out. We were so closely tied together, like a family, for several years. The friendships I had formed were real, not just casual and fleeting. There were times we didn’t all get along, but that was to be expected. We were following a man who was different than anyone else. We didn’t’ always see things the way he did. We couldn’t possibly. I could honestly say I loved each and every one of them. They knew things about me that not even my blood relatives knew. Hidden things. Secret things.

If they had any idea about what I would do that night, they would be devastated. Somehow I had managed to live a double life for a period of time, and had covered my tracks very well. I would be labeled a traitor; there was no doubt about that. I would have to accept it, and somehow move past the hurt feelings and broken hearts. Somewhere down the road of my life, I would once again find peace. That was my hope.

Things had become rather chaotic leading up to our last meal together. We entered the city under the praises of most everyone just a few days earlier. We were accepted at first, but things began to take a turn for the worst. The religious leaders couldn’t stand our Teacher. On several occasions, they attempted to trap him in lies and deceit, but always failed. They began to see him as a threat and not the promised Messiah. That’s when they contacted me. I guess they could sense my wavering dedication to the man I had lived with for three years.

Shame burned through my veins as I sat there wondering if anyone knew. I had been extremely careful with my meetings. No one ever seemed to notice I was gone. Although I was confident my secret was safe, I had a sinking feeling at least one of the men at the table knew exactly what was going on. Would he say anything to the rest?

When we had all finally gathered at the table, there was an uncomfortable silence for several moments. It was hard to describe. Jesus looked troubled. He sat there looking at us as the soft candlelight danced inside his soft, brown eyes. I had noticed him in that mood occasionally during our travels over the years, but something was bothering him even more on that night. His stare met mine and I couldn’t blink. His eyes bore deep into my soul. Even though he could read my every intention like an open book, he suddenly smiled.

I wanted to feel at ease, but I couldn’t. I looked down and waited until he stood up from the table. He took a bowl and carefully filled it with water. He knelt before Thomas and began to wash his feet. There was a tenderness and sincerity in the action that nearly brought me to tears. This was God’s only son, born into the earth as a man, removed from his throne as a king, and was now honoring the men he called family. I couldn’t understand. I looked around and realized everyone else was confused as well.

He finished with Thomas, and moved over to Peter.

“Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Peter asked quietly, almost in a whisper. The silence felt like a fragile vase that no one desired to break by speaking too loudly.

The guilt and shame gripped my heart even tighter as I watched the scene unfold before me. I had accepted money in exchange for betraying my Master. That was something I would have to live with until the day I passed from the earth. I swallowed the lump of emotion that had formed in the back of my throat. I was so thirsty, but didn’t dare move to get a drink.

“You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand,” Jesus replied as he knelt down.

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” He shook his head and drew his feet back. I knew Peter was stubborn, but there was something else going on in that moment. Something I couldn’t explain.

Jesus reached out and rested his hand on Peter’s knee. “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me,” he said.

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you. You are not all clean.”

My heart dropped after hearing those words. Of course he knew what I had done. He was Jesus. He knew our every thoughts, desires, and secrets. I bowed my head and stared at the floor. If any of the other disciples looked me in the eye, they would see my guilt and shame. They would know the Master was talking about me.

When Jesus was finished with Peter’s feet, he knelt down in front of me. The weight of the silver in my pocket couldn’t compare to the heaviness that hung over my shoulders. Darkness like no other had invaded my heart. I didn’t want to look up.

“Judas?”

 

To be continued…

The twisted Gospel


I’ve gone about one week without Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, and it is amazing. I seriously doubt I will return to any of those apps. I want to keep my blog here, because I am a writer. I like to write. I want to share things that God puts on my heart, whether anyone agrees with them or not. I’m not here to argue or debate over things. The bottom line is this: Jesus paid a high price to reconcile me back to my Father. He said, she said…yeah, but…well, that’s not right… None of that stuff matters. If it’s not aligned with the heart and mind of God, I’m not interested.

The Gospel is good news.

Luke 2:10-11 says (emphasis mine):

10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Somehow we have turned this message into a struggle not to sin, barely making it through life, and riding the ups and downs of our experiences. Jesus said “It is finished”, not “To be continued.” Where is the joy? Where is the hope that lost people are so desperately seeking? Christ in us, the hope of glory. (Col 1:27) There is nothing that shows we are any different from the world, except that we go to church.

Here is what Christianity in this country looks like.

  1. See that you are a sinner
  2. Say this prayer (which didn’t even exist until maybe 500 years ago)
  3. You now have a ticket into Heaven
  4. Go to church

The problem with this is that we walk out of a church service, revival, or crusade and get mad at someone who cuts us off in traffic. We complain about our money, jobs, and circumstances. We argue and fight with our spouse on the way home. We are teaching our children that Christianity is just going to church.

Saying the “sinners prayer” doesn’t make us Christians. It’s a twisted form of the true Gospel.

The Gospel isn’t about being blessed by God and having our names in the book of life.

The Gospel is dying to self, picking up our cross, and following Jesus. During His time on Earth, Christ modeled the Christian life. He was entirely dead to His own flesh, and completely surrendered to love. He was love personified. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Jesus was a human man, filled with the Holy Spirit, walking in love. He said to follow Him. I know it’s possible.

We can live just as Christ did. 

Mark 16:14-18 (better known as the Great Commission) says:

14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

It doesn’t say the signs that follow believers are: complaining, division, conditional love, hypocrisy, judgement, condemnation, pride, and selfishness.

Just the very fact that we complain shows we are concerned with our self. Which, if I read my Bible correctly, means we aren’t dead to self, which means we aren’t following Christ. He said to die to self.

It’s impossible to walk in love if we are still holding on to our self. 

Here are the attributes of love from 1 Cor 13. I love the Message Bible version.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

All of these attributes are the complete, polar opposite of self.

Satan believes that we love our selves more than we love God.

Let’s prove him wrong, and drop the twisted Gospel. Let’s die to our self, and walk in love.

Is a sinless life possible?


My quick, simple answer to this question is, yes. I believe it’s entirely possible.

But Chris, we’re only human. Well, we are, but that can’t be an excuse.

While on the earth, Jesus was a human man, filled with the Holy Spirit, and in constant communion with the Father. His flesh, His self, was completely and utterly submitted to the Spirit. He was love personified, and walked in absolute righteousness. I believe He chose to endure the entire birthing process as a human to show us that it’s possible to live exactly how He did. After all, He did say to follow Him. If it wasn’t possible, He wouldn’t have said it.

Can you imagine the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords spending nine months inside the womb? He could have easily beamed down to the Cross, allowed Himself to be beaten and hung, and walked out of the tomb three days later. I mean, this is the guy Who spoke, and everything was created. Why would our Creator choose to be human?

He wanted us to know that no matter what we go through, what persecution might come our way, we can face it all without sin. If it isn’t possible to live a sinless life, then His death on that dark day was meaningless. He conquered sin. It no longer has any power over us. Is it present? Of course. Does the enemy try to drag us into his lies? Certainly. But once we become born again, ALL things are new, the old is gone. We inherit a new blood line, free of sin, generational curses, and any baggage left unclaimed in our past.

But something vital has to happen. We can’t just rub a genie in a bottle and, poof, everything is perfect.

They key to living a sinless life is dying to self on a daily basis. 

All sin is rooted in self. It started in the Garden when Adam and Eve ate from the tree and fell. To this day, satan still wants us to believe that it’s impossible to walk in righteousness. Well, he’s pretty much a liar, so I don’t care what he says. What else is he going to do? Tell the truth? Um, no.

What happens when we sin? Guilt and condemnation are heaped upon us like coals on a fire. Romans 8:1 is pretty clear when it says:

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

“We’re only human. We’re only human.” Why is that the number one justification to sin? If we’re Christians,  we aren’t supposed to be living by our human flesh, but by the Spirit. So that excuse is null and void.

And if Jesus already forgave  ALL our sins, why do we think we have to grovel on our stomachs, weeping and wailing whenever we do stumble? If bad thoughts enter our mind out of nowhere, we immediately think it’s something inside of us, and we seek prayer, deliverance, or at least counseling. But, it’s coming from the outside, from the one who was already defeated. Yes, we repent and go in the other direction, but we don’t need to accept condemnation and guilt. It can be as simple as saying “Father, I know you didn’t create me to think like that. It isn’t me. I love You so much. Thank you for dying on that Cross for me. Thank you for making it possible to walk in righteousness. I thank you that I no longer live by my flesh, but by the power of Your Holy Spirit.”

If we do that on a continual basis anytime we have bad thoughts, or do something we know is wrong, eventually satan is going to find an easier target. He sits back and laughs when we run around in our guilt and shame. He revels in it. Just the fact that we feel bad means we have a new heart. We could think those things and do those things in the past, and it wouldn’t bother us.

Is a sinless life possible? Yes. God created us in His image, perfect and blameless. Man fell, and sin entered the world. Jesus died to reconcile us back to the Father.

It’s as if we never ate the fruit from that tree.

My Last Night


So many people are lost and hurting. The ministry we used to be a part of was full of youth who struggle with major issues on a daily basis. I’ve talked to many of them who have faced suicide at one point or another. Like everyone else on this planet, they need love. They don’t need to be judged for what they’ve done in the past. They need to know who they are in Christ. I wrote another song this morning as I sat here thinking about that.

 

My Last Night
Copyright 2014 Chris Martin

(verse one)

Standing at the edge of silence, time is no longer my friend
In this moment, I have to decide, no one will hurt me again
The tears stream down, I tremble in the shadow of my fear
I cried out to You, no reply, thought You said You were always here

Candlelight flickers in the darkness, cold steel pressed against my skin
A note on the table, reasons why, I can’t be hurt again
You won’t understand, might force a smile through the tears
But no one will ever know, what you did to me all these years

(chorus)

This is my last night
I give up the fight
I can’t take this pain anymore
Time to step through the open door

I’m so alone, I need to be strong
I’ve carried this burden for way too long
Does darkness await, or will it be light
No matter what, this is my last night

This is my last night

(verse two)

Sitting at the edge of my bed, time is my only friend
In this moment, I have to decide, I want to let you in
The tears stream down, I tremble, but not in fear
I cried out to You, the answer came, I feel You here

Candlelight flickers in the darkness, cold steel cast to the floor
A note in the trash, I have no reason to doubt You anymore
You’re the only one Who understands, I smile through the tears
Soon everyone will know, You’ve been calling to me all these years

(chorus)

This is my last night
I don’t have to fight
I won’t carry this pain anymore
On bended knee, I step through Your open door

I’m never alone, You make me strong
I’ve carried this burden for way too long
The darkness is gone, I now walk in the light
No matter what, this is my last night

This is my last night

Blah Blah Blah


Our lives are full of words.

We speak all day long. We use words in every part of our lives. We read them in books. We write them in letters…well, the closest anyone comes to writing a letter these days is constructing an extra long Facebook status. Words, words, words. They are everywhere.

We can speak and write words until there’s nothing left, but yet, not actually say much of anything. Words are futile unless they are reinforced with our actions.

You can say what you think, but you will live what you believe. 

That’s a profound statement, because it is so true. How do we live when no one is around? Do our actions in secret line up with the words we say in public? Since we answer to God, that’s very important.

As a Christian, I have decided to follow Jesus. If I write out these blog posts every week, then curse my children inside my home, I’m a hypocrite. If I post scripture after scripture on Facebook, but yell and scream at someone when they cut me off in traffic, my posts are rendered pointless. If I say we are to love God and love others, but yet I’m consumed with pleasing my flesh, I’m full of nothing but hot air.

Words are important, but actions are what define us as people.

In the past, I’ve come close to not even maintaining my blog anymore because of comments. It’s truly sad to see people who confess to be Christians want nothing more than to debate and argue over everything. I just recently had an Atheist leave a comment apologizing for anything they may have said that would cause me to disable comments. And I have to be honest, it’s not the Atheists who come against me the most. It’s other Christians.

And I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just telling it like it is. In my experience. I’m not categorizing ALL Christians into this one group of debaters. It’s fine if you don’t believe the same things I do. It’s fine to voice your opinion in the comments. But, I am done debating. I’ve said it before. Arguing is stupid, to be quite plain. In my opinion, the whole concept of denominations inside Christianity is ridiculous.

Do we seriously believe Heaven is going to be separated into sects like we are here on Earth? Of course not. God is a God of unity, not division.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If we’re not following Him, we aren’t getting it right. It’s that simple. The Gospel is a simple concept. It’s been broken up into every doctrine known to man, based on experiences. Well, we don’t live by feelings, we live by faith. If Jesus said this would happen, or that would happen when I pray, then I’m going to pray. If I don’t see results, who cares. That doesn’t change the fact that Jesus said it. It’s truth no matter what I see or don’t see.

Many well known authors, speakers, and preachers have written books and created doctrines over an experience they had, while completely ignoring the truth of the Gospel. It’s very sad. So many people have been led astray by false teachings not grounded in the Word of God. I write and speak what I believe to be truth. It’s up to you whether you accept it or not. I’m not trying to convince you of anything. I”m not saying I’m right and you’re wrong. I write blog posts because I have a passion for writing.

I also love people. I want to share what I’m learning and growing in. For too long, the enemy has infused his lies into every aspect of Christianity. We’ve been raised to believe certain things, when in fact, not all of them are true. If you really want to have your beliefs rocked and challenged, search for Dan Mohler and Todd White on YouTube and watch their teachings.

I’ve been digging into the Word, and communing with God in the secret place, and have found that what they are preaching is 100% truth. I’ve never heard anyone preach the Bible like they do. They don’t have notes, fancy catchphrases, or laser shows. They follow the lead of Holy Spirit and speak truth. It’s awesome.

Dear Christians, the world has heard us speak words and write words….they are crying out to see it in our actions.

Our Example


Imagine yourself as a Roman soldier. You look up at the man hanging on the Cross. You are covered in his blood because you’re one of the men responsible for beating the prisoner so badly, that he was rendered unrecognizable. You’re out of breath from following him through the streets of Via Dolorosa, whipping him, spitting on him, punching him, and cursing him every step of the way. You watch as the man labors for breath. You notice a woman lying at the foot of the Cross weeping uncontrollably. Somewhere, deep down, you sense what happened was wrong, but you faithfully carried out your duties as the obedient soldier you have always been.

You glance up and make eye contact with the man they call Jesus. You’re stunned when you realize He isn’t staring at you with eyes full of contempt or hatred. They nearly glow with an emotion you wouldn’t think was even possible. Unmistakable love. He looks up to the darkened sky and says “Father, forgive them. For they know not what they do.”

There are thousands of books on the market about how we should live. Books on how to love and forgive others when they’ve wronged us somehow. Guidelines for living a Christian life. Steps, methods, and doctrines permeate the bookshelves. My question is this:

Why is the Bible, and the Christian life Jesus modeled while on Earth, not enough?

What Would Jesus Do (WWJD) became nothing more than another religious cliche found on posters, bracelets, and bumper stickers, but it’s how we should all be living. If Christ didn’t do it or say it, neither should we.

Jesus loved others without having some kind of an agenda in mind.

Jesus forgave people without making them jump through hoops.

Jesus stared into the face of extreme injustice and asked His Father to forgive.

Jesus sat at the table with Judas, knowing the man would soon betray Him for 30 pieces of sliver.

Jesus loved Peter even after His disciple denied Him three times.

How could Jesus possibly live like this? He was love personified. He knew exactly what it meant to live selfless instead of selfish. He was a human man walking the Earth with the living power of Holy Spirit dwelling inside.

And we have that same ability. We can walk this planet with an indwelling of Holy Spirit. We can become love and crush Hell for a living. We have to believe in Christ, and be willing to lay down our lives. Completely. It’s not about us. It doesn’t matter what people have done to us in the past. It doesn’t matter if a church “hurt” us. It doesn’t matter if people don’t want anything to do with us.

None of that changes our ability to love people.

Jesus wasn’t just a character in history that we can read about. He is the example we should follow.

Quick Update


Don’t really have anything in particular on my heart to share this morning.

It’s exciting to see the ways in which God is moving through our lives. We’ve had a recent influx of semi-big decisions to make, and it’s awesome to see how He confirms the fact that we are truly hearing His voice. When I go into the secret place, I just give Him everything. We are so done with worrying about tomorrow and all the what ifs. We are just allowing God to lead us by the hand and guide us with wisdom and truth.

I finished the final edit of I Was There. For those who haven’t read any earlier posts, it’s a collection of ten Bible stories written from a first person perspective. I have a few people currently looking at the manuscript and am waiting for reviews and/or endorsements. I have some very exciting news about a possible foreword, but I don’t want to say anything until it’s official. It’s completely in God’s hands. I hope to have the book uploaded and available to purchase some time in May. I will definitely let you know when it’s for sale.

I plan to start on a second collection of ten more stories. My hope is that after I self-publish three or four collections on Amazon, I can then compile them all into a paperback copy. I definitely appreciate your prayers as I seek God with this next project and discern which stories need to be included. The cool thing is that the Bible is full of amazing encounters, and there is no shortage of material for me to write about.

I mentioned in my last post, Pressing into Him, how awesome it’s been to just get alone with my Heavenly Father and commune with Him on such a deeper level than ever before. I know I keep saying this, but it’s life changing. If we don’t know who we are in Christ, we won’t have a clue how to love others. It’s really that simple. Knowing our identity is so vital to everything. I don’t want to only know “about” God, I want to know Him.

I will leave you with my latest Facebook status. “We don’t need to “feel” that God loves us or that He’s with us. We need to believe it. Huge difference between the words feel and believe. We walk by faith, not by sight, past experiences, or feelings. That’s an awesome revelation.”

It is indeed an awesome revelation.

 

 

Let’s live as if we truly believe the Bible


We’ve all been there.

You do something stupid and mope around for several days thinking God is mad at you. As Christians, we have been programmed that way. To waller around in the mire of guilt and condemnation because, after all, we are just sinners trying to get it right. Where, in the Bible, do we find the instructions for such actions?

As he hung on the Cross, Jesus said “It is finished.” Sin was defeated right then and there. Period.

We are no longer under the rule of sin. It has no power over us whatsoever. Why do we live a defeated life, always believing we’re giving into sin? If we truly believe in Christ, and the finished work of the Cross, we are no longer living by the flesh. We aren’t sinners who keep screwing up. We are sons and daughters of God.

He looks at us as if we have never sinned. As if Adam and Eve had never eaten from the tree in the Garden. We have been reconciled to God through Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:16-19 says:

16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

We are pure, blameless, and above reproach. We are righteous.

When we have bad thoughts, or the desire to do something we know is wrong, just take a minute and stop. Since we are now walking in the Spirit, we don’t have to get on our knees and beg for God to forgive us. He already forgave all our sins. Just say something like this: “This is not me. Flesh, you already died. You have no say in my life. God, I thank You for what You did for me on the Cross. I praise You because you see me as Your son/daughter. Righteous and pure in Your sight.”

And then you move on.

You don’t need counseling. You don’t need to call up a brother/sister in Christ and spill you heart out because what you did was so bad. You recognize it as flesh. You affirm that’s not who you are anymore, and you thank God for His mercy and grace. Speaking truth will shut down the enemy every single time. John 8:31,32 says:

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

These are just some things I’ve been learning and growing in recently. Spending alone time with God in the secret place has been absolutely life changing.

That is where it all starts. Getting alone and intimate with the Creator of the universe. It’s exciting to know that we can walk boldly into the throne room of the Most High.

When we truly realize our identity in Christ, we see everything differently. We no longer allow people, life, or circumstances to dictate our actions. If we allow the opinions of others to shape our life, we are in for a very bumpy roller coaster ride.

See yourself through God’s eyes, and then see others the same way. It all begins with love.