“As Christians, we shouldn’t be optimistic about our talents, skills, or abilities, we become optimistic because we serve a God who has a plan bigger than what we see. He has something greater for us than anything we could ever dream up on our own.”
I have been reading through the book of Acts over the past couple of weeks. It’s amazing how these men of God in the early church were radically risking their lives to speak of the goodness of Jesus. Throughout the New Testament, we see acts of persecution come by way of imprisonment, physical beatings, and stoning, but time and time again, we see persistence and zeal for Jesus prevail over these fatal risks. Nothing could stop these guys. They all assumed that they were going to lose their lives for the sake of sharing the gospel, and most of them did.
It’s the holiday season. It’s that time of year where diets are thrown out the window and the smell of turkey, ham and green bean casserole fill the air unashamedly. The new year is just around the corner and our new bodies will have to wait until the Christmas tree is packed and the leftovers are all but gone.
Over a year ago, I found myself in a tough place in my relationship with Jesus. After listening to a powerful message on the love of God that was demonstrated through the cross, I began struggling with the reality that I had zero emotions when I thought about the blood and what Jesus had done for me. I felt like my soul had become numb to the gospel story. I began questioning my salvation and whether the cross ever had transformation power in my life.
I was searching through Facebook the other day looking for a group of evangelists that I could join. I’m not talking about your average televangelist or traveling preacher. I wanted to find a group of people that I could converse with about what evangelism looks like in everyday life. I wanted to connect with others who have a heart for sharing the gospel and equipping others to do the same.
For the past ten years, I have desired to write in an influential way in some capacity. Several years ago I started blogging on and off and have attempted numerous efforts in writing a book over the years. I was just never able to make it happen. After many failed attempts to gain momentum in my larger writing projects, I never gave up hope and believed that when I finally found the write subject to write on it would be fun, easy and meaningful. Pursuing the Gospel has been just that for me.
On so many occasions (way more than I like to recall) I have navigated through deep wounds of rejection. We all have on some level. We may not like to admit it, but rejection has been a serious place of hurt in all of our lives.
When I was called into full time ministry at 23 I thought I had finally arrived at the place that I wanted to be. I had felt the calling since I was 14 to be in youth ministry and there I was, accepting a position as a full time youth pastor. I thought it was all going to be smooth sailing from there. I thought my platform was going to grow and I was going to keep progressing until I was preaching in stadiums across the country. I’m a big dreamer. But man was I wrong.
In a post-modern culture where we heavily embrace tolerance and acceptance, the motto “to each his own” has become an integral approach to others ideas and ways of living.