Friday, December 11, 2009


I don't have much faith. I realized that today after my landlord opted to raise the rent $150 over what we have been paying for the last year. It seems silly to me that I am worried that God will not provide for my family and me. I have never really trusted God with all my heart in these kind of matters, but I really want to begin now. Over the past couple months hours at work have been steadily decreasing and because of that paychecks have also decreased. Fortunately, God has seen fit to provide people to randomly give us money and/or food at just the right time. As much as I praise God for things in the past, I still have a hard time trusting him now. I have been meditating on this issue for the day and have come up with the fact that I have been burned by people so much over my life that I just transition that lack of trust to God. Well, that is not fair to God, he has always been there for me and has never failed me. So, I am trying super hard to trust God and all the things that he has for me. I know his ways are best. As John the Baptist said, "He must increase, and I must decrease." I am trying very hard to keep Jesus as the center of my life and not myself or anyone else. It's sad, my instant reaction when typing this last line was that, because of my good works, God will reward me! What a bunch of hulabaloo! I know God can and will do what he wants when he wants to, but to reward someone for good works is lame. I don't want Jesus to know me by my good works, but to know me by the relationship I have with him and the faith that he has given me. I want Jesus, on that judgment day, to look at me and then the Father and say, "I know Jake and he is my friend. We've been through life together and we love each other. Father, I died for Jake and he truly knows me. He has been washed and purified of any sin by my blood. Father, there is no need to extend your wrath on Jake, he is spotless."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Supposed to do?

I haven't done what I have been called to do in so long I sometimes forget the reason God put me on this earth! I get so wrapped up in life I forget all about the fact that I am to live by faith and not by sight. It is obvious to me that what has happened in my past concerning pastoring was only a foretaste to what is to come. I have only been witness to a little bit of what God is going to use me to do. There is seldom a day that goes by that I do not think of God's promise to me, "I will use your voice for the expansion of my Kingdom." As plain as day I heard God tell me those words. This was a little over 10 years ago!

I have been learning and planning and praying. In my studies I have found the Word of God to be most effective in teaching me to be pliable and willing to move toward Jesus in better relationship. It is obvious to me that reconciliation was made not when I did anything, but rather when Jesus paid it all on the cross and bridged the gap for me and the rest of humanity. The verses that I have been meditating on for the last couple days have come out of the fifth chapter of second Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 5

Our Heavenly Dwelling
1For we know that ifA)">(A) the tent that isB)">(B) our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God,C)">(C) a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this tentD)">(D) we groan, longing toE)">(E) put on our heavenly dwelling, 3if indeed by putting it ona]">[a] we may not be found naked. 4For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortalF)">(F) may be swallowed up by life. 5He who has prepared us for this very thing is God,G)">(G) who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6So we are always of good courage. We know thatH)">(H) while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7forI)">(I) we walk by faith, notJ)">(J) by sight. 8Yes, we are of good courage, and weK)">(K) would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim toL)">(L) please him. 10ForM)">(M) we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,N)">(N) so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

The Ministry of Reconciliation
11Therefore, knowingO)">(O) the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. ButP)">(P) what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12Q)">(Q) We are not commending ourselves to you again butR)">(R) giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13For if weS)">(S) are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For the love of ChristT)">(T) controls us, because we have concluded this: thatU)">(U) one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15and he died for all,V)">(V) that those who live might no longer live for themselves butW)">(W) for him who for their sake died and was raised.

16From now on, therefore,X)">(X) we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone isY)">(Y) in Christ, he isZ)">(Z) a new creation.b]">[b]AA)">(AA) The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God,AB)">(AB) who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave usAC)">(AC) the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconcilingc]">[c] the world to himself,AD)">(AD) not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to usAE)">(AE) the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore,AF)">(AF) we are ambassadors for Christ,AG)">(AG) God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21AH)">(AH) For our sake he made him to be sinAI)">(AI) who knew no sin, so that in him we might becomeAJ)">(AJ) the righteousness of God.

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:3 Some manuscripts putting it off
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Or creature
  3. 2 Corinthians 5:19 Or God was in Christ, reconciling
Cross references:
  1. 2 Corinthians 5:1 : 2 Pet 1:13, 14
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:1 : 2 Corinthians 4:7
  3. 2 Corinthians 5:1 : Mark 14:58
  4. 2 Corinthians 5:2 : Rom 8:23
  5. 2 Corinthians 5:2 : 1 Cor 15:53, 54
  6. 2 Corinthians 5:4 : 1 Cor 15:54
  7. 2 Corinthians 5:5 : Rom 8:23; 2 Corinthians 1:22
  8. 2 Corinthians 5:6 : Heb 11:13, 14
  9. 2 Corinthians 5:7 : John 20:29; 2 Corinthians 4:18
  10. 2 Corinthians 5:7 : 1 Cor 13:12
  11. 2 Corinthians 5:8 : Phil 1:23
  12. 2 Corinthians 5:9 : Col 1:10; 1 Thess 4:1
  13. 2 Corinthians 5:10 : Matt 25:31, 32; Rom 14:10; Acts 10:42
  14. 2 Corinthians 5:10 : Psalm 62:12
  15. 2 Corinthians 5:11 : Job 31:23; Acts 9:31; Heb 10:31; Jude 23
  16. 2 Corinthians 5:11 : 2 Corinthians 4:2
  17. 2 Corinthians 5:12 : 2 Corinthians 3:1
  18. 2 Corinthians 5:12 : 2 Corinthians 1:14
  19. 2 Corinthians 5:13 : 2 Corinthians 11:1, 16, 17; 12:6, 11
  20. 2 Corinthians 5:14 : Acts 18:5
  21. 2 Corinthians 5:14 : Rom 5:15
  22. 2 Corinthians 5:15 : Rom 6:11, 12; Rom 14:7
  23. 2 Corinthians 5:15 : 2 Corinthians 12:10
  24. 2 Corinthians 5:16 : Gal 2:6; Phil 3:7, 8; Col 2:11; 1 Tim 5:21
  25. 2 Corinthians 5:17 : 2 Corinthians 12:2; Rom 16:7; Gal 1:22
  26. 2 Corinthians 5:17 : John 3:3; Rom 6:4
  27. 2 Corinthians 5:17 : Isa 43:18, 19; Rev 21:5; Isa 65:17; Eph 2:15; 4:24; Heb 8:13
  28. 2 Corinthians 5:18 : Col 1:20; Rom 5:10; 1 John 2:2
  29. 2 Corinthians 5:18 : Rom 5:11
  30. 2 Corinthians 5:19 : Psalm 32:2; Rom 4:8
  31. 2 Corinthians 5:19 : 2 Corinthians 5:18
  32. 2 Corinthians 5:20 : Eph 6:20; Mal 2:7; Gal 4:14
  33. 2 Corinthians 5:20 : 2 Corinthians 6:1
  34. 2 Corinthians 5:21 : Rom 8:3; Gal 3:13; Rom 4:25
  35. 2 Corinthians 5:21 : 1 Pet 2:22
  36. 2 Corinthians 5:21 : Rom 1:17; 1 Cor 1:30
The reason I posted all those verses is so that there is context to what I am about to say. The footnotes are for further study if you choose. Courtesy of

We are bought and paid for, redeemed and chosen. The believer will be in heaven forever, but what of life on earth? What about the ones that are called to do more than just work a normal job and pass life on by without a care in the world? How about the one's that God has chosen for His work? It seems that this passage eludes to the fact that we are "ambassadors for Christ" (v.20). If we are ambassadors, then we have an important job that can never be accomplished. Imagine, I was you to make fire, but you have no ability to make fire. I want you to produce more skin cells, but you have no idea how to do that. I want you to make the engine in your car work, but you have no idea how to make the engine work anymore than you know how to make fire! But that doesn't stop you from turning the key, or lighting a match, or eating food so your body can replenish itself and make new cells! It is the same with pastoral work. Pastors are chosen by God to bring people that are lost into a relationship with God and make them grow! Impossible! There is no way a person can make someone else have a relationship with God and make them grow, no way. But that doesn't stop us from preaching does it? It is amazing the things Jesus asks, no better yet, tells us to do: 7And proclaim as you go, saying,K)">(K) 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' 8L)">(L) Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers,b]">[b] cast out demons.M)">(M) You received without paying; give without pay..... 16V)">(V) "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so beW)">(W) wise as serpents andX)">(X) innocent as doves. 17Beware of men, forY)">(Y) they will deliver you over to courts and flog youZ)">(Z) in their synagogues, 18AA)">(AA) and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake,AB)">(AB) to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19AC)">(AC) WhenAD)">(AD) they deliver you over,AE)">(AE) do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, forAF)">(AF) what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20AG)">(AG) For it is not you who speak, butAH)">(AH) the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21AI)">(AI) Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22AJ)">(AJ) and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.AK)">(AK) But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23When theyAL)">(AL) persecute you in one town,AM)">(AM) flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of IsraelAN)">(AN) before the Son of Man comes.

Believe it or not Jesus told us to do some amazing things that we are not even doing! The question that comes to my mind is, what will happen to me if I do these things? Will I be put in jail, ridiculed, mocked, beaten, ignored, laughed at, or will anything happen at all? The only real danger comes from keeping my mouth shut:
28AndAS)">(AS) do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear himAT)">(AT) who can destroy both soul and body in hell.f]">[f]

O Holy Night

Just wanted to pass on the Christmas song that I am most into at this point in time. I had never heard the other verses until we sang them at church last Sunday. The words are Gospel and I love Jesus even more because of this song. Check it out!

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need—to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!