Posts Tagged ‘theology’

Lately I have strayed away from studying the Gospels. I’ve purposely avoided them making the excuse to myself that I’ll get more out of these books from Paul rather than trying to “understand Jesus”. You see when I read the Gospels I seem to over think a lot. I will read Matthew and try to find the “deepest meaning” or “what Jesus is really trying to say”. And it becomes exhausting and really not enjoyable to be honest because I just get confused or read too much into something making my own interpretation. Now let me be clear, I’m not saying that there is something wrong with studying the Gospels. There is nothing wrong with looking at what Jesus says on a deeper level, and there is nothing wrong with interpreting Scripture (As long as its rightfully dividing scripture, 2 Timothy 2:15), but what I am talking about is all this pressure I feel to right now understand everything in front of me in the Gospels. I feel like since this is Jesus, the Son of God, the greatest teacher/Discipler, the master of the universe, if He is speaking then I must hear and I must get right everything he is telling or trying to tell me. To be honest its overwhelming and so I have been backing off and avoiding it. So I, a Christian, am intimated by the Gospels, not because of its message but because of all the lessons that can possibly be learned and I want to know them all at once! The Gospels are where we find our standard of living as a Christian! We are to reflect Jesus and to walk as He walked (1st John 2:6)! But you see, instead of letting the Holy Spirit work through me, I have entertained this thought that I am capable of doing this for Him. I can follow this order and be good! But no, NO I can not! It is the work of the Spirit in me! The Gift I have received that works in me, with me! making me capable but not on my own, I must walk with Him, in Him, I must ABIDE! Or all of this fret is but a feeble attempt of pride and self righteousness. If I abide I will learn the lessons the Gospels have for me, in His timing, and His will, as He is preparing me for His ministry. All of scripture pushes you to the Gospels and are all centered around the Great I Am(Jesus Christ).

Now that I have seen my fault I pray for this, I pray that my heart be thirsty for the Gospels. I pray that the Spirit continuously shows me more and more truth and Love of the Gospels. I pray that I abide in Jesus so that I may be fruitful, John 15:4. I pray that I run from my pride and remember His Grace, I pray that I seek no self righteousness, Galatians 2:17-21. I pray that I just Enjoy Jesus in the Gospels and sit at his feet as a child listening to the tales of a wise man. I pray for patience, for Lord your will be done. And Lord help me in my times of unbelief, and restore my Joy as I let it so easily slip away. And I pray that it will bring me to a better confidence in sharing the Gospel. Thank you Lord for the abundant blessings you give me that sometimes I fail to see.

 Galatians 2:17-21-

But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Well as you can see I have gotten two new quite large tattoos. I have a bear paw on the left and a lion paw on the right. These two tattoos basically take up my entire rib cage space and they took over 4 hours to complete. It was a long day on the table and it was quite a challenge for my body to lie there that long under the needles pressing the ink into my body. I knew these tattoos were going to be big, and I knew they were going to be a challenge to receive, so I needed to be sure of the reasons behind these tattoos. Which by now I’m sure you want to hear the story.

Well it all begins with the story of David and Goliath in 1st Samuel 17. The story is probably my favorite mere man in the Bible, the story of a young man anointed by the servant of the Lord (Samuel) to take the thrown and lead Gods Holy people. A man who with his faith was able to take the head of a giant and lay it at the feet of king Saul, the very man who he would take the throne from. An inspiring story that is taught in Sunday school at churches but they tend to leave little parts out… Like the removing of Goliath’s head haha. Or the shouting match between the two warriors where Goliath spits in the face of God and says he will rip David apart and leave him for the birds and the beasts to eat… or Davids response of “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”-1 Samuel 17:45-47 I encourage you to read the story yourself if you haven’t.

But to narrow the focus I want to take you to a particular part of the story, I want to take you to 1st Samuel 17:32-37 “And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.”  And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”’  This is the part of the story where David is standing before Saul telling him he will fight the Philistine. For days the armies of Israel cowered at the thought of fighting this giant, even Saul the King was afraid and would not fight even though he was most likely the biggest man and most equipped man of his army. But when David arrived to deliver a package from his father to his brothers on the battle field he saw the tremendous lack of faith in the men of Israel and took it upon himself to silence the giant who insulted and shook his fist at the Lord our God. David knew that he was capable of defeating the giant for the Lord had delivered him the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear and this Philistine was no different he too would be defeated for the Glory of God. For this giant stood before the people of the Great and Holy God and spoke against God Himself and nothing stands against the Lord and remains for long, especially in the old testament. So David told Saul the story of how the Lord has prepared him in his faith with the lion and the bear and with the blessing of the king went to face the giant with the confidence given to him from the Lord.

What my tattoos represent is the “Lions” and “Bears” that God puts in our lives to build our faith for the battles ahead like a “Goliath Battle”. My tattoos are a symbol of the Power of the Lord to defeat anything before us in our path of a life Glorifying to God. A symbol of the preparation He gives us in our lives for challenging things ahead. And just a symbol of the Greatness and the Holiness that is our God and that nothing can stand in His way. Its a reminder that I need to work through the Lord and not myself. This tattoo represents allot of things I need to be reminded of, things that keep me confident in the Lord. When I can talk about my tattoos I get to share some of the “lions”, some of the “bears”, and some of the “Goliaths” of my life and bring God the Glory and point to Him. To point to my Savior, Provider, Defender, Lord, and King! And encourage others in the Faith

Sorry I haven’t wrote in a while… we don’t have internet at my house quite yet so its been difficult remembering to get this out when I have internet.

Any way moving on! It is so great to be back in Ohio, never thought I would say that coming from Michigan and all… But truly it is great to be back with my Off the Wall family. To be back in this community that constantly pushes me and asks hard questions. Questions that make me reflect on my actions and how to be a better man of God. I believe I’m where I’m most effective for the kingdom.

Being eternally effective, working for the eternal kingdom. What I mean by these words is doing things with eternal value, having conversation that go’s deeper than the here and now. For example lets say I go to Africa and put in a well for a village without water. Now you would say wow thats a really good thing and a great help to the people. I would respond with “yes it is good but its worthless! Its worthless because this world is but temporary, all these things will come to pass and return to dust “ All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?.”(Ecclesiastes 3:20-22) What I need to do is put in this well and tell them about something that could save their eternal souls! I need to give them the gospel! Because if I leave it at just a service of putting in a well what have I done? I have only served their physical flesh that will pass away. I didn’t feed the need of their souls! I didn’t tell them about Jesus our savior! I would have left without fulfilling the greatest command given to us as believers! “..Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned”(Mark 16) If I were to just leave I would leave them condemned until God sent someone else or revealed himself to them another way. (Although He is always revealing Himself through creation but without instruction we suck at seeing it) If I Loved the people enough to sacrifice time and money then why would I not tell them about the greatest gift revealed to man! JESUS CHRIST! We need to do more than simply do things for people we need to tell them why we do these good things! We do these Good things to be more Christ like, to Love people, Jesus Loves YOU!”

I believe we as Christians have moved to doing many good things but we seem to hesitate to give the the meat of our service. In all that we do we need to proclaim Jesus, thats part of the Great Commission “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This “go” is an as you go type of phrase, so as we go and do these great acts of service lets make it eternally effective and tell them about Jesus!

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”–2Timothy 4:7-8