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Posts Tagged ‘cross’

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32

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Love

I support loving people as they try to figure out God. I support Christians who understand grace and forgiveness. As a fellow brother in Christ, I urge my fellow believers to stop being cruel and judgemental and stop engaging in culture wars. Allow people the freedom to understand and grow. Love people for who they are and where they are at so that they may experience the Love of Christ.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Matthew 22: 37-40

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My absolute favorite song from Passion 2013 that was played was The Lord our God by Kristian Stanfill. He sang it tonight not too long after Colton Dixon sang Jesus Paid it All. I just felt very moved by the Spirit through the lyrics to this song. It speaks truth about how amazing our Lord and Savior is. I am so blessed and grateful to be a part of this movement and to have the opportunity to be in corporate worship with 60,000 of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Tonight I was at Redemption church and was taking communion and they played this old hymn that brought me back to when I was a kid. My Grandma used to play “The Old Rugged Cross” over and over again on the piano when I was growing up. I love this song – the lyrics are powerful. I would always picture the cross after Christ died stained with blood on a hill. But the cool thing is that old cross has so much healing and power. So when life beats us down we can always look to that cross and what Christ did for us that day.

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

1 Peter 2:24

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I spent my whole night with God tonight in front of this candle. I’m at a place in my life where God and I just talk all the time. I had a very interesting week this week. I shared my story with someone I deeply care about Saturday night and it got me processing a lot about where I am at in my walk. God’s really pulling me out into the community to share the gospel and my testimony to others. The brokenness of this jacked up world is really weighing on my heart. I really care and love people  and I find myself hurting for them. It kills me to see people make the choice of turning from God when Satan throws his punches our way.

Church for me exists in the world. Sundays are great for fellowship and teaching, but I’m growing in my walk meeting with people out in the surrounding community. Tonight I spent hours in the smoky atmosphere of Coffee Rush with a brother that just went through divorce. It’s a shitty thing for anyone to have to ever go through and I feel for this guy cuz he has little kids. But what an encouraging night that came from hanging out with him. God used me to impact his life in our short time together and he in turn was a blessing to me. I knew of him when he was married and was always encouraged when I saw his family. But then last summer I saw him at a small group alone with a look in his face that was all too familiar. I knew right then and there his marriage was over and I felt for him. But hearing him speak of his desire to cling to Christ through this tough time made me knew that God was going to take care of him. Tonight we had the opportunity to meet for the first time.

What an amazing turnaround God has done in his life! God is really working in this guy. I’m not saying that life is easy for him – he’s lonely, he’s struggling with lust and finances. Yet he has peace because he knows God is going to pull him through this. That’s God!!!! He doesn’t let go. We can have peace and hope because he is our anchor when life sucks. He is ever faithful and true and we can cling to hope when disaster comes. I love this verse from Hebrews..

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  – Hebrews 6:19

I’ve gone through more pain and trials since coming to Christ than when I lived life without him. Coming to Christ doesn’t guarantee things will get easy. But when we surrender our lives to him, He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us and we can have peace in that. He is the anchor to our souls and we can navigate through the crap when we cling to the cross. I have experienced the type of trials that can destroy a man. But at the same time I can honestly say that I am where I am today because of Jesus Christ. His grace and love for me are the only things that got me where I am today. I don’t fear man or this world because God continues to show me that he will bring me through whatever I go through and give me exactly what I need. What an amazing God we have!

Tonight I saw my new friend and the power of what God can do when we turn to Him. This guy turned to the cross of Christ – the place where God loves us and where Jesus shows us that he understands what we are going through. And now his testimony will be used to change the lives of others who are experiencing trouble. This guy prayed for me and told me how much meeting me impacted his life in a short few hours. I laugh because I feel the same way about him. He was a light to me tonight and a reminder of who God is when life beats us down. I love how the body of Christ is used to encourage each other.

Tonight I realized where God wants me after spending some time with Him. I know a big part of that is being out in the secular world and serving these men that are struggling and going through painful situations. I get pain and I don’t fear it. Jesus is my rock and I’m secure in that and pain has always brought me closer to him. People call me modern-day Job or whatever, but they also know that Christ is my foundation and the trials of life just make me cling to Christ. I want to share that and proclaim that to others. God may allow freedom in this world, but He doesn’t lose control. He knows what we go through and he offers himself as a source of hope to overcome it.

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God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

This is a verse that has been standing out to me in my studies and the focal point of my life right now. It’s all about grace and how God makes the impossible possible. The key part is that God gives us his righteousness, which means we are in right-standing with him. We get this righteousness through our faith – when we actually believe this. We no longer have to carry our shame and guilt when we know that we are washed by his blood and in right-standing with him. This is just blowing my mind..

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I’ve hosted my missional community on a number of occasions. I enjoyed spending my day making a spaghetti dinner with turkey meatballs in a zesty paprika sauce. I love hosting and being a blessing to others in my home. Our group has grown to 12 people not including kids. But tonight our MC was a little more deep for me. Our study really sunk in with me and the fact that we were doing ‘church’ in my home. I couldn’t help but think about how church was held in homes in Acts eating and being in fellowship with each other.

We read out of John 13 and how Jesus washed the disciple’s feet. We were talking about how we can serve each other more and others. I really am a part of a great MC and there is so much love for each other in it. This group has been a huge part of my healing process and teaching me about the gospel. I have grown so much since embracing all of them. We talked about being more open to bringing in newcomers and non-believers. We also want to be better about praying for each other and for the people in our own lives that we are on mission with. We spent most of the night praying for the Spirit’s guidance and direction for this coming year.

Tonight we also sang worship songs for the first time in a while and for the first time in my home. While we were singing, tears came to my eyes. We were singing “It is well with my soul” and I was remembering the story behind the lyrics. Horatio Spafford wrote the song after going through some tough trials in his life. I have seen a lot of joy and laughter in my home, but I have also seen a lot of hurt and pain. While singing, I looked up at the cross hanging over my door. It was a reminder that God is sovereign and that he is a God of healing and restoration. It was an amazing moment to look around at everyone and seeing all of us as one unified body lifting each other up and praising our Lord and Savior.

  • – From Wikipedia

This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871 at the age of four, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone . . .”. Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

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Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

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