“You Can’t Steer a Parked Car”

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Park

I first heard the quote, “You can’t steer a parked car” while I was at The Honor Academy. Now this may seem like an obvious statement, but let’s apply it to our Christian Walk. Often times we are waiting for God to “steer” our lives in the right direction but we have our lives stuck in “park”. He is just waiting for us to put ourselves in “drive”.

Let’s look at the story of Abram, AKA Abraham:

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3 (NIV)

As we see from this passage we see God promises Abram that He will make him into a great nation and will bless him. All He asks him to do is take himself out of “park” and put himself in “drive”.

Sometimes we get caught in the “intermission” of the dream. Maybe God gave you a dream that is 5 years down the road or maybe He didn’t give us turn-by-turn directions to this dream. Sometimes it’s like He is a GPS. He says to us “The exit to your dream  in 207mi on the right”, but then he goes silent like a GPS until you get closer to your destination. Just because your GPS goes silent, does that mean you stop on the interstate? Of course not. You just drive and wait until the next turn comes.

What has God promised you? What dreams has he given you? What have you done with those dreams? Are you still in “park” or are you in “drive”?

I’ll leave you with this thought:
Don’t go into REmission during the INTERmission, remember the TRANSmission of the COmission, be the Emission of the COmission until the SUBmission.

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Unleavened Bread – ONE Series

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Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 (ESV)

As I was reading this passage these verses stood out to me. Especially the phrase, “Do you no know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” This really got me thinking. Now I know that this passage is speaking about the church as a whole, but if I may be so bold, I would like to apply this to our personal life.

Personally, do we understand, “that a little leaven leavens the lump?”, lump meaning ourselves. Do we understand that a little sin defiles ourselves? If we add salt water to fresh water, what happens to the fresh water? It becomes salt water. This is the same with sin, if we add sin to something pure, it defiles the whole thing.

I think that many times as Christians we focus on doing “more”. Doing more good, worshipping more, praying more, reading the Word more. Now don’t get me wrong, these are all excellent things. But they are only one side of the coin. Jesus doesn’t want us to simply do more good. He wants to eliminate the bad or sin. We can so often focus on doing more things for Jesus, but we too often forget to eliminate the sin our lives. Now its great that you are adding good things into your life, but take a moment and think of the sin that you could be taking out. You might be praying more, but are you still bringing others down with your words? You may be worshipping Jesus more, but are you still worshipping your smartphone, or car, or whatever it is you worship other than Jesus. Maybe you’re reading the Word more, but are you still reading the gossip collums in magazines?

In conclusion, I would like us (yes, this is for me too), to think  about not only about the good things we can add, but the sin that we can throw out. We don’t have to be the church with most good going on, but lets make it a goal to be the church with the least sin retention. Let us be known for continuous throwing out of sin. Let us be Lifecoast, the unleavened church! Let us be ONE!

Pressed To Impress

A great word from my Pastor.

Mike Wehde

I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.   1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Are we sick of Smart Phones yet?

smart-phone-cartoonI was on a trip last week to Arkansas and everywhere from the airplane, to the Tram Ride, all the way to baggage terminal people were glued to their Smart Phones.  What were most of them doing? (I spied)  Most of them were just exploring Gigabytes upon Gigabytes of information – news feeds, media outlets, movie clips, and interesting trends for the day.  Oh….and ME TOO!

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The Cross – ONE Series

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For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

I believe this passage really speaks the truth about this current generation. We live in a world, in a culture, where “the word of the cross is folly.” Folly, for those who don’t know, is another word for foolishness. We need to understand that the word of the cross (the Gospel) is foolishness to an unbeliever. It makes absolutely no sense. Why would someone else die for them? How does HIS death cover THEIR sins? Why do they deserve death, they’re a pretty good person, right? Without faith the cross is just silly. It doesn’t make much sense. The math just doesn’t add up [see what I did there].

“But to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  Well I think this sums it up quite nicely. To us, as christians, the word of the cross is the power of God. Let that resonate inside you for a moment. The power of God. Do you understand the power in that statement [sorry, I did it again]? What is the power of God? The power of God is what has defeated Satan. What conquered Satan was the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelations 12:10-12). Thats the word of the Cross. The blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony. That is the power of God. I love this so much. Friends let us never grow weary of the word of the cross!

22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:22-24

We need to understand that the people around us are going to demand signs and seek wisdom. There are always those people who are going to say, “prove it” or “tell me the exact ration of holiness Jesus’ has to the sin of the world ” (okay, I just made that one up).  People are always going to ask for signs or ask detailed questions that we may not be able to give them. But our job is not to give signs or give detailed answers, our job is to preach Christ and Christ crucified. Its just that simple. This isn’t going to satisfy everyone. To ones who cannot grasp grace it will be a stumbling block to those who refuse to believe it will be just foolishness. But once again, to us who are called, it is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

We cannot save anyone. Even if we say and do all the right things, we can’t do it. We can’t change anyone’s mind. We can’t prove to them that Jesus died for their sins. We just can’t. But what we can do is share the word of the Cross with everyone we meet. We share it and we let the power of God do the work. We don’t judge people for not believing. We don’t condemn them. We just love them like Jesus loved them. We lay our lives down for them as Jesus did for us on the cross. We give Him all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise. It all belongs to Him anyway. We simply preach Christ crucified.

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

So I have been reading this book titled Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjan. It is absolutely amazing. He dives into this formula “Jesus + Nothing = Everything.” Now this a rather simple concept. But it goes so much deeper than any of us could possibly imagine.

I am going to attempt to break it down into the readers’ digest version. In the book Tullian goes  through the formula first backwards(everything, nothing, and Jesus), then forwards(Jesus, nothing, and everything). He shares with us what everything means to us. He points out how we innately want everything. We as humans are never content. Our bodies yearn for more ll the time. This is because we were CREATED for more. We were created for everything. We were given dominion over all the earth (everything). We were created for Heaven where we will have everything. There will be no more pain, sorrow, regret, heartache, tears and we will have everything we have wanted.

He then breaks down the “nothing” part of the formula. He points out our fatal flaw as Christians and as humans. Our fatal flaw is that we try to add to Jesus We don’t see that He sufficient. We are searching for more and we don’t realize that Jesus is it. He’s al we need. Tullian uses the example The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, where we see Screwtape is discussing his strategies against Christians (in Screwtape’s words) “to keep them in a state of mind I call ‘Christianity And.'” Wow. It’s just that simple. A simple 3-letter word we a thousand times a day, “And.” We take Christianity and we add something. To some people this may look like, “Christianity and Self-affirmation” or “Christianity and Social Justice” or “Christianity and Science” or whatever your “and” is. The root of this “and” problem is our flawed view of Grace. We foolishly think that we can add something to Grace so we can get what we want. We think we need to do our part to earn grace. Jesus did our part so now we need to do ours. Or we think, “Okay, yeah I don’t need to earn grace, but I do need to work to keep it.” This is our fatal flaw. We keep searching for something  and trying to put the responsibility on us. That is the opposite of grace.

Next Tullian breaks down the “Jesus” part of the formula. He explains how Jesus is everything we could ever want or imagine and more! He describes who Jesus is. He is the Lord of all creation, He is the Lord of Hosts, The King of Kings, ,The Lord of Lords, The Creator of the universe, The Great I AM, The beginning and the end, He goes before, He is final call, He is preeminent, He is the image of the unseen God, Firstborn of all creation, He created all things, all things are bound together by Him and through Him, The fullness of God dwells within Him,. And now because He is all these things everything on earth has been reconciled through Him and His death on the cross. Now we who were enemies of Him can be called children of God and we are welcomed into his very near presence. This is Jesus, This is Grace. This is The Gospel.

Next Tullian goes back to the “nothing’ part of the formula. He describes how depraved and wick we are. How we have absolutely nothing offer Jesus. Therefor, we are in need of a Savior. We are in need of Grace. There is nothing that we can do to earn or keep grace. We are taken completely out of the driver’s seat. Grace puts Jesus is full control. Unfortunately, we has humans hate that. We as humans hate true grace. Let that sink for a minute. We, as Tullian explained before, always want more and we want to do it ourselves. We are prideful and we want more and we think we need to be the ones to get this. We put our fate in our own hands. Yet if we could step back look, we would see how stupid that is. We are finite creators trying to earn something that’s infinite. The math doesn’t add up. We need someone who IS infinite to grant us what we truly desire. That someone is Jesus.

Finally, in the last part of the book, Tullian finishes with the “everything” part of the formula. In this part we see that if we could truly let go and give Jesus full control He will give us everything. If we let His desires become our desires He will grant us those desires. We will see Heaven come down on Earth. If we live our lives in the light of the grace we have been given, we will see change in our lives. We will see the impact it has on this world. So my final challenge to you is this: Make JESUS the focus of your life, know that He is EVERYTHING and He needs NOTHING. There is NOTHING you can do or add to JESUS because is already EVERYTHING. Live in the light of the Grace of JESUS add NOTHING and enjoy EVERYTHING.

Promises, Promises

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“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11

I prepared a message for youth group this week and a particular truth stood out to me, so I thought I would share it with you.

I am doing a series on faith and this weeks topic was called “The Good Father.” I was focusing on putting faith in our perfect heavenly father. In the above Scripture we see how God loves to give good gifts to HIs children who ask. This truth brought up a question. What has God promised and what has God NOT promised? Now we as Christians know that God has promised us many things. But unfortunately, we have added some of our own promises. Have you noticed this? We claim these promises in Jesus name, but these promises are never found in Scripture. Here is a list of a few Scriptures where some of God’s promises are found.

Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 11:28-29, Isaiah 40:29-31, Philippians 4:19, Romans 8:37-39, Proverbs 1:33, John 14:27, Romans 10:9, Romans 6:23

Now those are things God has promised. But there are things God has not promised. He has not promised to keep bad things from happening, heal every illness, reverse the consequences of sin or that we will never face hardship. Yet, in some Christian circles, people are claiming that that Jesus will do these things. They claim that if you love Jesus, if you have enough faith, if you pray enough that Jesus will keep any bad things from happening, that you will be blessed financially, and that everything in your life will get better. But we need to understand that Jesus has never promised these things.

Here is a quote from the book, “The Barbarian Way” by Erwin McManus

“Instead of finding confidence to live as we should regardless of our circumstances, we have used it as justification to choose the path of least resistance, least difficulty, least sacrifice. Instead of concluding it is best to be wherever God wants us to be, we have decided that wherever it is best for us to be is where God wants us. Actually, God’s will for us is less about our comfort than it is about our contribution. God would never choose for us safety at the cost of significance.” (pg. 44-45)

I think describes perfectly what we as humans do. We take what we think is best for us and we claim Jesus has promised these things when he really hasn’t. We forget that as a perfect Father, He would never dare give His children everything they ask for. (Can I get an Amen from the parents?) God has promised to give us good gifts and He is faithful to do just that. But He will not give us “good” things just because we think it is what’s best for us. He loves us too much for that to happen.

In conclusion, as we are going through this fast, let’s make sure that our expectations from God and from this fast are based on Biblical promises. I was once told, “The best way to know if something is counterfeit is to study and be so familiar with the original, that you can spot any inconsistency.” Let us study the Bible so much and become so familiar with it that we can spot any false promises or false teachings.