July 2007 - Posts
"If you want to complicate your life...try telling God what you think He meant.. in HIS word." -JCH
If you had 60 seconds on prime time television, on a major network, to promote any cause you wanted...what would it be?
But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain....Jude 1:10-11
There was a fisherman who would bring his catch to the market every morning, and he always had a bucket full of crabs. One guy asked him one day, why don't you put a lid of those, won't they get out. The fisherman snickered and said, I don't need to put a bucket on them, as soon as one starts to crawl out, the others reach up and pull him down. It's funny how we as people can be the same way. Everything is cool as long as we're all equal, but when someone starts to do a little bit better than the rest of us, we want to pull him down.
Don't be like that, you're being like Cain, and that way is hate. And more often than not, hatred is rooted in envy. Cain could have been a great Godly man, instead he became a wicked man. Cain pitched a fit when God accepted his brother's sacrifice and not his. He was jealous, then he let it fester, then it turned to hatred. Then he gave in to his hatred and murdered his brother. The way of Cain leads to the curse that was upon Cain. That's why we shouldn't harbor our anger or bitterness. Are you mad at your brother or sister today, don't let it fester...nip it in the bud today.
"Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved."- Ephesians 1:5-6
Have you ever thought that the reason God was blessing you was because of disciplined and regular Bible study. I get up before work every morning and study the Bible and pray for 30-45 minutes or more (I know because I check my watch). I would think when I got to work that God would use me that day because I had done so much for Him.
I remember one morning I woke up very late. I didn't have time to pray or read my Bible. That day, God allowed me the privilege of leading someone to Christ.
Some people think, just as I once did, that they must do certain things to earn the approval of God. They think they have to somehow appease Him. But God's righteous demands were satisfied on the cross. We don't have to do things like read the Bible, pray, or go to church to find God's approval. We should do these things because we want to and because we are pleased with the opportunity to do them. God blesses us, and it is out of that blessing that we should want to do these things. We should want to serve Him, not to earn His approval, but because we already have it.
The Bible tells us that God has "made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). This means that when we put our faith in Christ, God has put His righteousness into our account. He loves us when we do well. But He also loves us when we don't.
Alright party people, Uncle J is back. He has had a pow wow with God and He told me what I needed to hear and He put me where He wanted me. So, here is the deal....For years I have dealt with my calling and my capicity in ministry. All my life I've had people ask me, are you going to be a preacher like your daddy too? I always had the same reaction...well, no, that constitutes a calling on your life. I have always believed that God would use me in the business world, with fellow businessmen and customers, impact the world that way. Well, he has. He has also begun a work in me the last two years as I have gotten the awesome priviledge of ministering to Pre-teens. The reason I love this age group so much is because it was as a *** myself that I found God to be faithful. We had been at Calvary Baptist in Lenoir City for 4 years! The longest tenure we had had up to that point in time. I had always sought the approval of two guys that I desperetly wanted to hang with, but they would have none of it. The summer of my 6th grade year I got to go to camp with the youth. Yea! One night as the Holy Spirit was moving these two guys came to me crying and apologized for being mean-spirited and not including me in anything. What an awesome night, God had given me the desire of my heart, even if it was just something silly like having certain friends. They were the coolest guys I knew, and now they knew me, hung out with me, included me, and I knew that only God could do this. It was an awesome week in my life spiritually. My relationship with Christ became real, He did love me and care for me. I felt it, and it felt good. When I got home, my parents picked me up and took me to a friend of the families where we were having a cookout, here is where my world changed. Mom and Dad sat me down and told me that God has called Dad pastor somewhere else...in Alcoa...30 minutes away! New school, new house, new life. NO! I didn't want to go, I had just had the greatest week of my life and now we were moving, I wasn't going to be able to hang with my best new buds @ church or school. It was horrible, I was devistated. This is where my relationship with Christ became even more real. He did something I didn't understand, and I was mad at God. For the next few weeks, I barely came out of my room, when mom, dad, and callie would go house hunting, I would elect to stay home and sulk. I put everything off until the first day we went to the church to see where dad was going to pastor, where I was going to school to register, and to see the house we would live in when it was finished. In that one day, God again became even more real as he gave me my new best friend, great christian teachers(Buddy Wolf), and a new home that was almost done...all in one day. God showed me something about myself that day and on the first day at Alcoa Middle. He had blessed me with people skills, I found out I was a people person. So much moving around causes you to be, you've got to make friends, so it became a skill I mastered. Some people can't just walk up to people and say Hey, I'm Jesse, what's your name and be comftorable with that. But I could. Over the years I have realized that my calling in ministry is not just to Pre-teens, which I love, or students, which I love, but to people. When Jesus was here on earth, He did awesome things...He preached in the temple, He taught the multitudes, he performed miracles, and he even lead the first small group(the disciples). But the greatest ministry Jesus had was in his realtionships and the way he interacted with people! Jesus was a people person, he made friends very easy. People were drawn to him, not just because He was the son of God, but because of his love, his kind spirit, and his service to them. If there is any way that I can try to be like Christ, that's it.
I told you that story and said all that to say this, after having prayed... a lot, sought wise counsel, talked with my wife...a lot, and sorted out what I was feeling and trying to figure what God was telling me, I am surrendering my life to full time ministry. I am giving God my YES! Thank you for your prayer, encouragment and support, you guys are the greatest. God has called me to serve Him, people, students, and Pre-teens, wherever He leads me, I will go. Have a blessed day. Press On!