Where’s Your Focus?

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If you ask any atheist how they became one, they would probably say something like, “When I began thinking for myself” or “Thinking of myself.”  That can not be any more true. If you want to live a godless life, think for yourself, and of yourself.

Romans 8:5-9 says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their MINDS on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is HOSTILE to God, for it does not SUBMIT to God’s law, indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are NOT in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”

This is what Paul is saying, “If you live a sinful life, you have sinful thoughts. If you live a RIGHTEOUS life and a life pleasing to God, you have righteous thoughts. Setting your mind on the sinful ways bring death, but setting your mind on the things of the Spirit will GIVE you life and peace. A sinful mind is an enemy of God. If you are in the Spirit, meaning if the Holy Spirit lives in you, you are a friend of God.”

Earlier in Romans, we get a glimpse of Paul’s life, and this is true to many of us. Romans 7:15,17-18, 22-25 says, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate. 17 It is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me , that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

Paul is basically saying, “I want to do good, but I don’t do good. I do what I don’t want to do. IN FACT, I keep doing the thing I wish I wouldn’t do! There is a war going on inside of me, because I love the Word of God in my soul, but my flesh continues to sin! Who will save me from this? Jesus will. So I will SHIFT my focus from me, to God.”

We get in this fractured cycle where we start doing something we know is wrong and it becomes a habit. We stop doing it one day, but then all of a sudden we start doing it again. We break free from it in the morning, but by the end of the day we go back to doing it. An endless cycle. We’ve got to get it out of it. Paul says, “Man I’ve got this problem where I keep doing this thing that I know is wrong, but I can’t stop. I keep going back to it. But I know the solution. I will shift my eyes to God. I will shift my focus. I will no longer think for myself, and of myself, but I will begin thinking of God, and for others.”

If we do what Paul says, we will have a break through. When you think about God, you move the FOCUS from YOU to GOD. This causes you to STOP doing that thing you wish you could stop and DOING what you DO want to do.

They tell us to think for yourself as if you know what’s best for you. “Follow your heart,” they say. “Trust your feelings! Don’t question anything, just go with it!” Why would you trust your feelings when your feelings and your thoughts are what’s making you do what you don’t want to do? The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Do you really want to trust your heart?

Remember that cycle I mentioned earlier? We get in the cycle because we focus on ourselves. We focus ON our sins and not on our Savior. We focus on the mess we’re in but not the one that can take us OUT of that mess. Colossians 3:2-3 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” When we focus on God not only do we eventually stop doing the things we hate, but we will also dwell in the Spirit. This is AMAZING news! Why? Well in the Spirit there is no condemnation. No little voice inside your head that goes, “Nice try but you will never get out of this.” or “You’re pathetic, you’re a dirty, sinful person.” Condemnation is not from God. Jesus came to the world not to condemn it, but give it life.

In the Spirit there is LIFE. When we dwell in the flesh it brings death. But when we dwell in the Spirit and set our MINDS on the Spirit, we have LIFE. This is why, when atheists say that they became atheists when they started thinking for themselves, they are slowly dying. To think for yourself brings death. A youth pastor I spoke to once asked me what Salvation meant to me. I told him, “Instead of thinking for yourself and about yourself, you think about God, and for others.” When you are saved your whole mindset shifts. Being a Christian means you serve others, and you focus on God. You can’t do that when your focus is on you and your sin. You can’t serve others when you are caught up in your sin. You can’t be a follower of Christ when you focus on the flesh.

But the beauty of it all is that Christ came to set us free. He came to shift our focus on him. To set our minds free. This brings a whole new meaning to him setting the captives free doesn’t it. He breaks the chains of “self.” He destroys the walls keeping us in a constant cycle. He looks at us and says “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” If we go to him and if we focus on him, we will be freed from that cycle I spoke of. If we focus on Him, we will serve others. We will do the things God wants us to do.

This begs the question. Where’s your focus? Is it on you or is it on God?

Continue His Legacy

 

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, is a true American Hero. Few men have done what he has done. Few men has faced such great adversity that he has. Few men have been willing to give anything for a dream. He is a true American. And I am grateful he fought for equality and for the end of discrimination.

He set an example to everyone, on how to get things done. Never once did he raise a gun. Never once did he call for killing. No, he marched. He talked. And he got things done. He paved a way for equality through peaceful protests. He showed everyone that the only way to defeat evil, is by love. He once said, “Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that.” We all could learn from that.

He believed in what America could become. He believed that one day the preamble of the Declaration of Independence would become a reality, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

As we reflect on his life, let us continue his legacy. The only way that our country can be truly United is by talking. It can not become great through riots and fights. It is not possible for any good to come out by destroying cities, killing police, or killing each other. Cruel words and names will not help anything, it will only make it worse. We must meet on the common ground. We must be willing to see the other side of the conversation. We must listen to each other.

We must do away with Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter. We must do away with labeling each other and defining each other based upon the color of our skin. We are not defined by our race, we are all Americans. We must work together to make Dr. King’s dream a reality. Let us link arms in unity. Let us forget about our differences and focus on our needs.

We must live in love. Love one another. And as Christians, we must lead from the front. We must be the first ones to set aside our differences and find peace. Our country needs us to step up and talk. No more killing, no more riots. Only debates. Only conversations. This is the only way that things will be different. It won’t happen over night, but it will happen. So let us continue his legacy.

.5%

 

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99.5%. This is how similar we are to each other. Your DNA is 99.5% the same as mine. This kind of makes sense when you think about it. God says in Genesis 1:26 & 27, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

We were all created by the same God. We were all created in his likeness. This is why we are so similar. But I don’t want to focus on the 99.5%. I want to focus on the other .5%. The last little bit of each of our DNA determines who we are. It determines if your ugly, like your brother. It determines if your athletic, or lazy. It determines if you need glasses. And in my case, it determines if you start losing hair when you started your freshman year of high school (true story).

This last half percent determines who we are. It determines our personalities. It makes us unique. Your fingerprint is the only finger print like that, that has ever been in existence. There has never been a fingerprint like yours before, and there will never be one again. You are the only person that can be you. God created us individually.

Psalms 139:13-16 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes say my unformed substance; in Your book were written, everyone of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” This means that God took his time and planned everything out for our lives. He took his time to determine how he wants the .5% difference to look like.

My .5% difference enables me to fulfill my calling. I am the only person that can do what I do, the way that I do it. I am the only person that can reach the people I am meant to reach. No one else can reach those people.

I can not do what Matthew West does. I can not sing if my life depended on it. But he can. He can reach people that I can’t reach. Matthew West can not do what you do. You are the only person that can do what you do.

But a lot of times we think that we can’t do anything because we are too young, or not smart enough, athletic enough, or what ever enough.

But God says otherwise. Jeremiah 1:5-8: “Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you, I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’ Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.’ But the LORD said to me. ‘Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.’”

And again in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young…”

You are the way you are for a reason. You are perfect for the calling God has for you life. When you are feeling down and think that you are a nobody, remember that you are SOMEBODY. You are you. Dr. Seuss puts it this way, “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive that is you-er than you!”

You might look at yourself and see all your past mistakes. Or you might look at who you want to be in the future and think that you will never be that guy. Let me tell you that where you are at is a lot better than where you were, and where you WILL be is a lot better than where you are at now.

If you don’t believe me, and still don’t like something about yourself, believe Jesus. Jesus says to everyone of us, “I love you for who you are. I love you even with those three grey hairs on the right side of your head (hashtag my brother)” or “I love you even with your 6th toe on your left foot.” It doesn’t matter what it is, Jesus still loves you. And he wants you. He doesn’t want what the 99.5% similarities, he wants the .5% difference that makes you you. He doesn’t want a clone of someone else, he want’s you.

It doesn’t matter what you have done, or what you will do, he loves you, and he wants you. He wants you so much that he came and he died on the cross for you.

All you have to do is accept him. If you are tired and worn out. If you feel like you can’t go on. If you’ve been hurt by the people you love, or you feel like you’re worthless, go to Jesus. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Jesus will give you rest. To him, you mean something. His grace will make you new. You are you for a reason, someone needs you. We all have a calling. You are the only one that can fulfill your calling. Whether it is to be a preacher, a missionary, an athlete, a singer, a video game designer, or anything else. Whatever it is, nobody else can do it like you. Our callings are unique, and they are that way to reach a certain person that no one else can. The end goal and the mission is the same, but the way we do it is what’s unique.
Draw strength from God, stick to Jesus your whole life, never go anywhere without him. If you remain with him and you let him lead you, you will be all right. Through him, you will truly be you.

 

 

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The Message of the Cross

 

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2,000 years ago, a man who they called The Christ, The Messiah,  shared the greatest message that could ever be shared. No it wasn’t a sermon. And no it wasn’t a Parable. It was an action but in truth it’s more than just an action. Does anyone know what the action was?

It was the message of the Cross. It was an action of Sacrifice. What do I mean by that? The Apostle Paul says it beautifully. “I’m absolutely CONVINCED that NOTHING- nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”  (Romans 8:38-39 MSG)

Nothing can get between us and God’s love (Rom 8:39). That’s the message of the Cross. The blood of Jesus was shed out of love for us. He embraced us even to the point of his death.The cross can not stop it. Your sin can not stop it. Not even hell itself can stop it. No matter what you are struggling with, no matter what you are going through, God’s love will break through.  This is the message of the cross. What you might think is a wall, he sees as a pile of rubble. You might see a wrong turn, but God sees the right way.

The song “Closer Than You Know” by Hillsong United says, “I carried that cross, And I felt your pain. I took up your crown, and I wore your shame. And death was a fire, and its teeth were grim, but I left it behind along with all your sin.” Out of LOVE he carried the cross. Out of LOVE he took on our pain and our crown. OUT of LOVE he faced death. AND OUT OF LOVE he conquered the world. It wasn’t out of an obligation, it wasn’t out of pity, nor was it because of a death wish. Simply put, Jesus Christ of Nazareth sacrificed his own life out of love.

The beauty of the cross is that God’s love knows no bounds. Romans 5:8 says “but God shows his love for us in that while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us. (verse 9) Since therefore, we have now been JUSTIFIED by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” We were enemies of God, but He still loved us and went so far as sending his Son to die on the cross, which we all know.  

There is power in the blood of Jesus. And I would even go as far as saying that there is power in the blood BECAUSE of the love of God. God’s love reaches out to the corners of the world. It knows no limit or any boundary. It does not see borders and it does not see nations. It reaches out to all people.

The song “Empires” which is also by Hillsong United puts it this way, “This is love bending skies to heal the broken. This is love bleeding life into the grave. Hear the sound as our hearts cry out forever Singing Hallelujah. Breathing in a brand new world.” What this line is saying is that love will do anything to heal the broken. Love will go anywhere to give life to the dead.  And that is what God’s love did. Even before Jesus was crucified he went where no one else would.

He went to places that were unclean to heal the sick. He went to the tombs and brought the dead back to life. He went ANYWHERE and DID the unthinkable to heal the sick. Where there was sickness, there is now healing. Where there was death, there is life. The old is washed away, and the new is rising up.

And when he died, he went to the grave, but did not stay there. He took the keys of death away giving life to the dead. He gave life to every single one of us. ⅓ of the world’s population are Christians. Let’s assume that all the Christians were true followers of God. If that is the case, that means ⅔ of our neighbors are dead. But the good news is, they still have a chance. Jesus can still invade their hearts and give them life. He did it to me, and he did it to you. He can do it again.

The love of God makes all things new. We might look in the mirror and see a broken, worthless teenager, but God sees a healed and priceless Son or Daughter. You might see a messed up teenager, but God sees someone who’s beautifully and wonderfully made. We are REDEEMED because of the love of God. You aren’t a sinner saved by grace. You WERE a sinner, but now you are a friend of God.

I’m not saying we don’t sin, I’m saying God doesn’t see our sins. Because of God’s love, we are a NEW creation, we are not what we once were, we are not  just sinners saved by grace, we are redeemed. We are Children of God.

The Message of the Cross is not ONLY that nothing can separate us from God’s love, but also that God will prove that he loves you. “For God SO LOVED the world…” the Bible says. You want proof that he loves you? Look at the blood stained cross. Look at the empty grave. He loved us enough to go through hell and back literally. And guess what he conquered it.

Look at God and Israel. Time and time again he showed them that he loved them. Time after time he proved to them how much they mean to him. And God did the same for you. “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson says, “If you wanna know how far my love will go just how deep, just how wide. If you wanna see how much you mean to me, look at my hands, look at my side.” It might just be a song, but it’s true. It’s what Jesus says to all of us. “I love you! Just look at my hands. I’m willing to DIE to show you my love.”  He’s done and given everything that you ever needed. He’s proved time after time that he loves you. And the Cross is the perfect example.

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” And he lived that statement to the fullest. He proved to us that his love is so vast and unconditional by going to the cross. This was the message of the cross.

It was more than just an action and it was more than just a sermon. It is proof that his love will not back down to anything. That his love will bring down walls and do anything to get to us. It is proof that God loves us. And this message is one to be shared with ALL the Earth. When Jesus died, God sent a message to the whole world saying, “I will do WHATEVER it takes for you to live in love. There’s no place to high, low, wide or deep, nothing too hard, and nothing I WILL NOT do to prove my love for you.”

And we are meant to deliver that message along WITH the message of salvation. Salvation is the PURPOSE of the Cross, the MESSAGE of the Cross is the action in which God shows us that we are loved.

So allow me to ask you a series of questions. What would YOU do in order to prove your love? Let me rephrase the question, what WOULDN’T you do to prove your love? Does your love stop for something? Is your love unconditional? Now think about God’s love. God would do anything, he would do unimaginable things. His love TRAMPLES over everything that gets in its way. God’s love is unconditional. God’s love, is better than our love.

Let’s Go Diving

 

 

I would like to mention before you begin reading the post that this is a sermon I am currently working on to share at my youth group. Therefore there will be instances where I say, “my sermon” or “I’m going to talk about…” Just know that I wrote it with speaking in mind. Anyways, I am beginning my post with a verse from the song “How He Loves.” While you read the lyrics, think about the words and meaning. Picture in your mind the wonderful love our Creator has for us.

“We are his portion and He is our prize. Drawn to Redemption by the grace in his eyes. If Grace is an Ocean we’re all sinking. And Heaven meets Earth like an unforeseen kiss. And my heart turns violently inside of my chest, I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way That he loves us.”

Now I am going to repeat the verse. But instead of using grace, I’m replacing it with love.

“We are his portion and He is our prize. Drawn to Redemption by the love in his eyes. If Love is an Ocean we’re all sinking. And Heaven meets Earth like an unforeseen kiss. And my heart turns violently inside of my chest, I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way That he loves us.”

And with that being said, the title of my sermon is “Let’s Go Diving.”

If Love is an Ocean we’re all sinking. This line states a simple fact. Which is that God’s love for us is vast, deep and unconditional.

You know I’ve always been fascinated with diving. There’s a sense of adventure and also danger to it. You are in uncharted territory where anything could happen. When you go diving you go into a whole nother world, one nothing like our own.

And in these ways, it’s the same with God’s love. Well actually, with God. The reason I say this is because God is love. 1 John 4:8 says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” When you read 1 Corinthians 13:4 -where it says Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast and later love never ends- Paul is describing God. God is everything that Paul says love is.

When you dive deeper and deeper into God and his love, like diving,you enter a new world,

You begin seeing things differently. You see the world through God’s perspective and not your own. It  also becomes an adventure and dangerous. Not dangerous in a bad way, but in a good way. A good way because God’s love will change your life, you will begin to love and be joyful and you will become a threat to the world and to the enemy.

Did you really think God was safe? Let me read you one of my favorite quotes. It comes from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.  Lucy and Mr. Beaver are talking about Aslan (who symbolizes God) and Lucy asks if Aslan is safe. To which Mr. Beaver says, “Safe? don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

God’s dangerous. He’s fierce, he’s a warrior, the King of Kings, the beginning and the End, an all consuming fire, anything but safe. But he’s good, he’s just and merciful to the ones he loves. And his love is dangerous, fierce and an all consuming fire.

A consuming fire that will set everything on fire, it will set your life on  fire and it will burn so bright and hot that it spreads to the next person and the next and the next, and pretty soon your whole school, the county, the state, the country, and the world will be ablaze for the love of God. That’s the kind of danger you’re in when you dive in to his love.

If you don’t believe me, look at Christianity. It exists because of God’s love. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus came to the Earth as an act of LOVE. He Died because HE LOVES US. And that love consumed the apostles, and they began to love and it spread. Now, 2,000 years later, Christianity has 2,100,000,000 adherents. But the Pew Research Center stated that Islam will Surpass Christianity in numbers in this century.

If Christianity grew because of love, God’s Love, why are we not growing as much? Why is a religion that only spreads hate and violence going to surpass Christianity? Why are people appalled with the church? And it’s simple, the church is only in knee high water.  It’s because the church has become lukewarm.

There was a point in time where Christians were deep within God’s love. There was a time where people were witnessing God’s love. There was a time where Westboro Baptists and other groups were nearly nonexistent.

But now, now most churches only care about numbers. How many people  can they entertain on Sunday, how can we become wealthy. The church as a whole has put God’s love on the back burner.  

It’s time to swim out to open ocean and dive into God’s love. It’s time that we show the world what a true Christian is like, It’s time to show them Jesus. We have to go diving. We have to take a chance and be consumed with the fire of God’s love.  That’s the only way the world will change. The world and America will not change and become better with Trump or with Clinton. If anything it will become worse with either of them. It can only become a better place and a safer place when we show the world God’s love.

It doesn’t matter if they are white, black, Hispanics, middle eastern, Asians, cops, thugs, gay, straight, Americans, North Koreans, or even ISIS. God’s love and grace is for everyone. And once we as the church realize that, things will become different.

Before I tell what showing God’s love is like, we must first understand why God’s love is so important. Love is the backbone of everything. God created the earth, the moon, and the stars out of love for his Son. He loved the world so much that he sent Jesus to die a painful death so that we don’t have too. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” He writes earlier in the chapter “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s word with power, revealing all his mysteries an making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, ‘Jump’ and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” You could be the so called “perfect christian” but if you don’t love, you’re NOTHING. I could preach the rest of my life, but if I do not love, I just wasted my breath. You HAVE to love.

If you are a follower of Christ there is no choice but to love. They say you can see a lot about a person’s character by their fruits. If you profess to be a Christian but you aren’t truly loving, people will see you as a hypocrite. See love is super important. Jesus says that the two greatest commandments are 1. Love God and 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. These two commandments encompasses the rest of the ten commandments. All the ten commandments say is to either love God, or Love your neighbor.

When you are IN LOVE (God) you will do everything the bible says to do. Everything Jesus says to do. Why? Well because it’s showing love. The golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is not about being fair and kind as others as much as it’s about loving your neighbor as yourself and therefore showing God’s love. The whole Bible is pretty much about 4 things. God’s Grace, God’s Love, God’s Power, and God’s Holiness.

So  now what does showing God’s love look like? Here are a few examples.

  1. Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” It’s loving and respecting your spouse or if you’re dating, your boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s caring about their spiritual needs as much as the physical desires and needs.
  2. It’s setting an example for your peers at school to follow. It’s rising above conflict and not stooping down to other’s levels. It’s not using the same language they use and not laughing at jokes that you shouldn’t laugh at.
  3. It’s standing up for what’s holy, just, and right. It’s saying no to abortion and homosexuality. It’s saying “I will NOT divorce my spouse.” And to the dudes here, it’s Respecting women and standing up for them, it’s realizing that they are PRICELESS and deserve to be treated as such.
  4. It’s helping people in their times of need.

Showing God’s love is not that complex but yet, we are afraid to do it. Maybe it’s because we are afraid we will lose friends or become less popular. I struggle with that fear too. But wouldn’t it be worth it? Wouldn’t it be worth being hated for doing what’s right rather than sitting on the sidelines watching the world go to hell in a hand-basket? I mean there’s people who already want us dead because we call ourselves Christians. We might as well suck it up and love the very ones that hate us.

I’m diving in, are you?

The Void

“As the days went by, the evolution of like into love was accelerated. White Fang himself began to grow aware of it, though in his consciousness he knew not what love was. It manifested itself to him as a void in his being- a hungry, aching, yearning void that clamored to be filled. It was a pain and an unrest; and it received easement only by the touch of the new god’s presence. At such times love was a joy to him, a wild, keen-thrilling satisfaction. But when away from his god, the pain and the unrest returned; the void in him sprang up and pressed against him with its emptiness, and the hunger gnawed and gnawed unceasingly.”
– excerpt from White Fang by Jack London

I recently finished White Fang. It was a great book that was very captivating. If you haven’t read the book you should. It’s about a wolf, that was “3/4 wolf and 1/4 dog.” Him and his mother was captured by people when he was just a puppy. Through out the book he was beaten, got separated from his mom and fought to the death several times, killing his opponents.

He had a total of three masters by the end of the book. And the last master was the most humane one of them all. He treated White Fang with love and kindness, the way dogs should be treated. White Fang knew him as the “Love-god.” Because of this man, White Fang was able to go back to his puppy hood and learn how to love and moved from hate, to liking and finally to loving.

White Fang became a completely different wolf. While he was owned by the second master, he became known as the “Fighting Wolf.” But by the end of the book, he became known as the “Blessed Wolf.” And I believe there’s something we could learn from this.

The lesson we can learn is that no matter how far gone you are and how terrible people think you are, you are not too far gone for love. Love will change you. Not superficial love, and not the “love” we know today. But true love, genuine love, God. God is love. And love is God.

When we enter into a relationship with God and allow him to be our master and Lord, we begin to change. We move from hating to liking and finally loving, just like with White Fang. When we grow in love and learn what love truly is, we become consumed by it. Like the quote says, it becomes a “hungry, aching, yearning void that clamored to be filled.” And it only is quenched in the presence of God, by the touch of God.

We become dependent on God and we have a void in our heart and soul that is only filled by God. Because of this void, we become hungry for more of God, we NEED more of God. And that’s perfectly ok. How much better is it that we have a void that is only quenched by God than having a void that is unquenchable by anything?

I think that the void thing can be taken even further. What if we have a void even before we choose God? It would make sense. People try to fill that missing piece in their soul with alcohol, drugs, sex, you name it. But yet it’s unquenchable, or at least it seems that way. And that’s why people return back to those things, because it leaves them more hungry than when they started.

But when we DO choose God, the void slowly begins to be quenched. And we become more hungry for God than before. His love and his glory and righteousness are ALL consuming fires that is unstoppable. And we want more of it.

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No Excuse

 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Romans 1:18-21 ESV

According to Romans, there is no excuse for what’s going on in the world. No, I’m talking about the terrorist attacks and ISIS. I’m talking about the moral issues as in homosexuality and abortion and everything else like that. The reason why there is no excuse, is that God made it plain to every single one of us from the very beginning what is right and wrong.

God’s power and divine nature has been made clear and known to ALL creation. So let’s set the record straight. You have NO excuse for your sins. Verse 21 makes it very clear, “For although they KNEW God, they did not honor him AS God or give thanks to him, BUT they became FUTILE in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” We did it ourselves. We knew God. We knew of his great power and of his divine nature.

We even knew of the wrath of God! We knew what was ungodly and unrighteous, but we were fools and decided not to honor God. Because we exchanged truth for a lie, God gave us up in our lust of our hearts for impurity. (verse 24) See God never intended for us to live in a world like this.

But how come the world is like this? Simple, we started thinking for ourselves. We forgot about God, we turned our backs on him and He let us. He pretty much said, “You know what, if you don’t need me, I’ll let you live the way you want to live.”

But you know what’s worse than all of that? Look at verse 32, “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” We know that homosexuality, drunkenness, murder (abortion is included), and other things are evil and that the price is death. But we don’t just do it, we tell people that it’s OK if they do them too!

From the very beginning God has laid out what was righteous and what was not. He made it clear as day. But we turned away. The reason why the world is what it is today is because we did it ourselves. I wonder what would happen if we would turn back to God? I wonder what the world would be like if set our hearts on God and turned our mind to God? I can guarantee that it would be nothing like it is today.

There would be no hate, murder, racism or anything else like that. IF we would begin to follow God’s decrees it would be a different world. Talk about turning the world upside down. We thought Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream was planet shaking.  What about the world turning back to JESUS?

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